A clutch shot in the waning moments of Saturday’s game launched the Washington basketball Lady Jays to third place at the Lutheran South Tournament.
Washington (6-6) closed out the event with a 58-55 overtime victory over the host Lady Lancers (5-7) on the strength of Abi Waters’ three-point shot from the corner with 13 seconds remaining to break up a tied score.
“Abi’s game has just been improving and improving,” Washington Head Coach Doug Light said.
“Her confidence level is really high. She told me last night, ‘We’re going to get these guys.’ She was up and she was ready for it. Then she hit the big shot to win it. That was exciting.”
Taylor Brown led the team with 14 points. She finished with a triple-double, adding 14 steals, 10 rebounds, eight assists and one block.
Waters netted 12 points with five rebounds, three steals and one assist.
Gabby Lindemann had 12 points with nine rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist.
Ingrid Figas chipped in nine points with 13 rebounds, four steals and one assist.
Elizabeth Reed finished with six points, four rebounds and one assist. She was chosen for the all-tournament team.
Emma Briggs netted three points with three rebounds. Kelsey Bruggemann posted two points and two assists. Kendall Nix grabbed one steal.
With the teams playing at a frantic pace, they combined for a total of 72 turnovers — 37 committed by Lutheran South and 35 by Washington.
However, Washington seemed to make the most of the opportunities the turnovers represented by scoring quickly in transition.
“They like to play fast and we like to play fast too,” Light said. “It was a fun game like that with both teams really pushing the ball up the floor and pressing each other. (Lutheran South) gave Webster Groves everything they wanted the other night, and we knew we’d have to have our best game.”
The Lady Jays also pulled down 14 offensive rebounds while outrebounding Lutheran South overall, 44-35.
“We talked about rebounding being so huge in this game,” Light said. “I think we did a really good job with that because they had been a really good rebounding team, and we knew we had to match that.”
The Lady Jays controlled the lead for much of the game after outpointing the hosts, 20-9, in the first period.
Washington held a 30-22 halftime lead and a 41-36 edge after three quarters.
After the Lady Jays held the lead uninterrupted for 28 minutes, Lutheran South took its only lead of the game with 3:14 to play in regulation. Washington took back the lead two minutes later on a pair of free throws made by Brown.
A trip to the free-throw line on the other end of the court resulted in just one make for Katelynn Karsten, knotting the score at 51, which is where it stood to end the fourth period.
The overtime tipoff resulted in a fortuitous outcome for the Lady Jays, despite Lutheran South winning it. The ball came down to a Lutheran South player straddling halfcourt. When she took a step in the wrong direction, it was ruled an over-and-back violation.
Washington took the lead on a Lindemann shot in the paint on the ensuing possession, while Lutheran South having won the tipoff meant that the possession arrow also pointed the Lady Jays’ direction.
After the teams traded one free throw on each end of the court, Lindemann fouled out, as Elizabeth Reed had done in the fourth quarter. With Olivia Reed sidelined with an injury, that meant the Lady Jays were down two starters for the full overtime period and three starters for much of it.
“We had two kids foul out and a lot of kids step up for us and do a really nice job,” Light said. “Freshman Kelsey Brueggemann, who was at St. John’s Gildehaus last year, and never played at this kind of level — all of a sudden she’s in the midst of a big varsity game and did a great job for us. We just had a lot of kids step up and help us.”
After the teams traded free throws again, during the process of which there was a jump ball that allowed the Lady Jays to keep possession, Washington still held a two-point lead. However, a trip to the line for Lutheran South’s Savannah Butterfield yielded two makes and tied the score at 55 with 42 seconds remaining.
After a couple trades of possession, Washington beat the defensive pressure from Lutheran South with a full-court heave from Brown to Brueggemann, but the shot was blocked out of bounds with 23.5 seconds to go, allowing Washington to retain possession.
After working the ball in-bounds and through multiple passes, the Lady Jays were able to find Waters open in the corner for the game-winning shot.
Lutheran South had time to try to tie it on the next possession, and two timeouts remaining, but rushed the shot. Figas scooped the rebound and held onto it as the final three seconds ticked off to seal the win.
Chloe Eggerding led the Lady Lancers with 16 points.
Other scorers included Amy Ceko (11 points), Ellie Buscher (nine), Butterfield (eight), Karsten (six) and Sophia Horrell (five).
Washington next plays Wednesday, at Lindbergh, starting at 7 p.m.