Written by Andrew Ottoson Saturday, 01 March 2008 11:41
The Tabor College women's basketball team ended its season Saturday at Sterling, but not without leaving every possible effort on the hardwood. Stacie Herman led the charge, scoring 22 points, including a 4-for-4 effort in the final minute of regulation. But the Warriors outscored the Bluejays 10-4 in extra time to secure a berth in the post-season championship game.
If the Bluejays were a workshop, Herman was the bandsaw, weaving through everything Sterling could throw at her with few snags along the way. Fellow senior Katie Fast played the part of both anvil and hammer, neutralizing Sterling standout Brittany Gasper with strong, physical defense, and pacing the Bluejays to a 50-39 rebounding advantage. Fast also had a colossal block of a shot attempted by Hillary Stucky with 8:06 left in the second half.
The Bluejays had trailed 7-0 out of the gate, and wiped that deficit away with an 8-1 run, taking a 12-10 lead on a bucket by Tasia Johnson with 8:33 left in the first half. Sterling countered with a 7-0 run, leading to 22-22 halftime score. On the final play before intermission, Herman dribbled away half of the remaining 24 seconds, then beat her mark off the dribble and threw in the game-tying score.
The second half saw six ties and seven lead changes as both teams bumped up their tempo. Tabor claimed a short-lived lead, 44-41, when Herman swatted a pass attempted by Jannica Schultze back the other direction and retrieved the loose ball for a breakaway layup. The Bluejays also led briefly when Joanna Pyle drained a 3-point shot with 3:17 to go, but were unable to fend off the KCAC regular season champions. A 3-pointer by Jacci Tinkel answered Pyle's trey and put the Bluejays in a 51-49 hole with under three minutes left.
Herman tied it at 2:03, with a pair of swishes at the foul line, and swished two more to send the game into overtime.
But the extra session—Tabor's fourth overtime of the season on Sterling's home floor—tilted toward the Warriors from the outset. Gasper scored first, and Brittany Roth answered for Tabor. Then a field goal by Stucky and a pair of foul shots by Ashley Kraft made it 59-55 with 51 seconds to go, and the Warrior defense slammed the door on Tabor's season.
Herman tallied 22 points, Pyle scored 13, and Fast had 13 rebounds.