WAITSBURG — In an action-packed 32 minutes of roundball that featured outstanding guard play, fast-paced transition buckets, steals, loose-ball dive-for-the-floor scrums, and a last second swipe ala Dennis Johnson and the Boston Celtics, it was the baskets made (or not made) while the action was stopped that proved the deciding factor in Touchet’s Southeast B Southern Division girls basketball squeaker over Waitsburg-Prescott, 49-47, here Tuesday.
From the foul line, both teams shot 35 percent for the game, but neither team could make a pair at crucial times down the final stretch.
Waitsburg-Prescott got off to a quick start, outscoring the Indians 12-6 in the first quarter, and extended the lead to eight points, 16-8, one minute into the second period.
But Touchet bolted to a 17-7 run to finish the half up two, 25-23.
The lead could have been greater had the Indians not shot 3-for-13 from the free-throw line in the half.
The lead changed hands twice in the third quarter, ending with Touchet again on top by two, 35-33.
The Indians failed again to put W-P down by a larger margin when it had the chances from the line, finishing the third quarter 2-of-6 from the charity stripe.
Then W-P, which had only shot six free throws in the first three quarters, got a chance to do to Touchet what the Indians had been unable to do. Over a four-minute span, from 6:23 to 2:42 of the fourth quarter, W-P went to the line seven times to shoot 13 free throws while holding Touchet to just four points on two field goals.
But W-P made just five of those buckets to muster a one-point lead.
The Indians took the lead at 2:20 on an Emily Huesby bucket from 10 feet, and 14 seconds later by her 2-for-2 trip to the charity stripe. At 1:40, Genesis Pearson responded with an offensive rebound and put-back to draw to within one.
The next three trips down the court for W-P came up empty, while the Indians approached the line six times, making only 2-of-6 tries by Zoe Weaver and Carly Frazier. With 22 ticks left, the Indians’ lead was just three.
W-P’s Kristin Potter was fouled attacking the hoop with 17 seconds left, but made only 1-of-2 free throws to close the lead to 47-45. W-P immediately fouled, and Weaver, for her fourth trip in a row, hit just 1-of-2 to bump the lead back to three, 48-45.
On the rebound of Weaver’s missed second free throw, Touchet fouled W-P’s Megan Withers. With a golden opportunity to close the gap to one with no time running off the clock, Withers missed both shots, and W-P was forced to foul again. This time, it was Frazier making 1-of-2 and extending the lead to four with 11 seconds left.
Down by two scores, W-P raced the length of the court and shot a deep ball. Post Genesis Pearson grabbed the errant throw and bucketed a 2-footer with three seconds left, after which W-P called timeout.
After the timeout, Touchet’s inbounds pass was stolen by Potter, who drove to the basket and dished to Withers. But Touchet hands deflected the pass and the resulting scrum kicked the ball out of bounds to Touchet with one second remaining. This time, Touchet inbounded cleanly and time expired.
"We’re normally a good free-throw shooting team, and we try to go the line 35, 40 times a night," Touchet coach Scott Pumphrey said. "We have been making 25 to 30 of those. We’ve been shooting 70-75 percent. These past two games we’ve just kind of lost focus a bit, and it almost came back to bite us.
"If the girls make a few more (free throws) in the first or second quarter, it doesn’t come down to the end like that."
"Eight-for-23 from the foul line. I mean, that’s terrible — especially there at the end," W-P coach Jerry Baker said. "We had our chances. Of course, (Touchet) didn’t shoot any better, so I guess we were lucky we were in the game."
Touchet finished the game 11-for-31 from the foul line.
W-P’s Potter led all players in scoring with 16. Pearson was tops in rebounds tallying 13.
Weaver scored 16 for the Indians, and Huesby registered a 12-point, 10-board double-double.
The win boosts Touchet’s record to 8-8 overall and 4-1 in Southern Division play heading into a Friday home game versus DeSales.
W-P falls to 9-5 and 3-3. W-P plays at home Friday against Liberty Christian.
TOUCHET — Pedroza 3 0-0 6, Frazier 4 1-4 9, Weaver 5 6-12 16, Intinarelli 0 0-0 0, Butler 0 0-2 0, Kessler 3 0-5 6, Warner 0 0-0 0, Huesby 4 4-8 12. Totals 19 11-31 49.
WAITSBURG-PRESCOTT — Potter 6 5-10 17, Stringham 0 0-0 0, Carter 4 1-5 10, Hafen 0 0-0 0, Harris 0 0-0 0, Hulce 1 0-0 2, Weis 2 2-6 6, Withers 2 0-2 4, Pearson 4 0-0 8. Totals 19 8-23 47.
Touchet 6 19 10 14 — 49
W-P 12 11 10 14 — 47
3-point goals — Tou 0, W-P 1 (Carter). Total Fouls — Tou 22, W-P 23. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — Tou 35 (Huesby 10), W-P 41 (Pearson 13). Turnovers — Tou 13, W-P 25. Assists — Tou 5 (Pedroza 2, Weaver 2), W-P 5 (Potter 4). Steals — Tou 5, W-P 8 (Potter 3).