Lady Tigers Work Overtime to Beat Moody, 77-73
Freshman Hannah Wight looks to dish the ball for the open shot. Wight scored a career high 16 points in the game.
Sequels very often do not live up to their hype, but that was certainly not the case in the re-match between the GBC Lady Tigers and the Archers of Moody Bible Institute. The Archers won a tightly contested battle just 10 days ago in Chicago and both teams expected another intense battle ths time around at the Aldrich Athletic Center. Expectations were met as 40 minutes was not enough time to decide the outcome of the game. The Lady Tigers scored the last 8 points in the extra period to take a 77-73 victory in a game that featured scoring runs by both teams, breakout performances, and some interesting statistical achievements.
The first half started out as expected as both teams exchanged baskets and no one took over. Moody took their only lead of the half at the 17:19 mark and that is when GBC made their first run. The Tigers cranked up the defensive pressure and went on a scoring run to increase their lead to 14 at the 8:12 mark. The Archers would not cave under the pressure, however, and closed the gap to 38-30 as the halftime buzzer sounded. Hannah Wight (Cedar Springs H.S.) and Anna Iwaniw (Kent City H.S.) each scored eight first half points to lead the charge. The Lady Tigers did a great job of containing Moody's high scoring duo of Raini Hadley-Parish and Jenna Bloodworth to a combined four points in the half. Jenna's older sister Emily picked up the slack and scored all of her 16 points in the opening period to pace the visitors early. The Lady Tigers forced 21 first half turnovers, but the Archers shot 10-10 from the FT line and were 4-6 from the 3 point line to keep them in the game.
In the second half, the Lady Tigers once again pushed the lead to double digits behind their pressure defense and scoring from their perimeter players, taking a 15 point lead at the 13:03 mark. Once again Moody would make a run, aided by poor shooting from the field and the FT line by the Tigers. The Archers gradually whittled the lead down and even took a 2 point lead of their own down the stretch, but a steal and basket by Molly Holtrop (Cedar Springs H.S.) would tie the game. Both teams would have one more opportunity to score, but both came up empty and the teams headed for the extra session tied at 69.
Moody took early control in the extra frame as Jenna Bloodworth scored two early baskets, but they would not score again and Holtrop, Wight, and Megan Scholtens (Quad City H.S.) would make key scores down the stretch. Holtrop made a free throw with 7 seconds left on the clock to seal the final margin of victory.
Molly Holtrop played her best game as a Tiger and led the scorers with 19 points. She also dished out 10 assists and had 7 steals and committed only one turnover in 43 minutes. Hannah Wight had her breakout performance and scored a career high 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting. Megan Scholtens had 16 points, including four key three pointers. Anna Iwaniw was also in double figures with 12. Shooting kept the Archers in the game as they outshot the Tigers 42% to 37% from the field and were 12-17 from the FT line, whereas the Tigers would struggle at the line going 9-22.
The much taller Archers won the rebounding battle 64-42. 6-foot-3 center Jenna Bloodworth and 6-foot forward Olivia Hunter each had 20-20 games where they scored at least 20 points and had 20 rebounds. Katie Allers (Coopersville H.S.) came off the bench to lead the Tigers in rebounding with 8.
"It was worth waiting the extra day for that game," Coach Renzema said after the final buzzer. "We knew it would be a close game and it certainly was a good one. We let a couple of these types of games get away from us earlier in the year, so it was nice to make a couple of plays down the stretch in overtime to secure the win. I am very proud of how our girls responded, even though I hope next time we make a few more free throws and we can win with a lot less stress on the coach."
The Lady Tigers will be back in action on Thursday at 6 PM as they host the Cardinals of Andrews University.