Effingham Daily News
The third time was the charm for the Neoga Lady Indians Thursday night.
After losing to St. Anthony during the NTC tournament final in November and again last week, Neoga finally got past the Lady Bulldogs with a 47-42 win at the Effingham Round Robin tournament.
It felt good for Neoga coach Kim Romack, whose team has become very familiar with St. Anthony over the past few seasons.
"It's been a battle the last two years, this is the seventh time we've played," she said. "We finally overcame that hump tonight, the girls kept fighting and played until the end and we finally got our 'W.'"
The first half was played evenly, as the two teams' matchups in the past have, with St. Anthony taking the lead early and giving up the lead for all of 22 seconds. The Lady Bulldogs took a 23-21 lead to the half.
St. Anthony came out on fire to start the third, going on a 9-2 run to open the frame and push the lead to nine.
But Neoga (15-7) wasn't done, as they held St. Anthony scoreless for nearly five full minutes as they came back.
"We went through a stretch ... where we just didn't stick the ball in the hole and that's what hurt us a little bit," said St. Anthony coach Bart Wiedman. "They're a good team."
After trailing 32-23, the Indians cut the lead to 34-31 after three on 3-pointers by Jillian Deters and EC Thies, and back-to-back buckets by Jaycie Roy put the Indians up 37-34 with 6:13 left.
St. Anthony briefly regained the lead on a Lauren Wendt steal and layup, but Thies hit another three to put Neoga up for good.
Deters had just five of her 17 points in the game's final 12 minutes, as Neoga came back behind its depth.
"I thought all six girls that played stepped up and we couldn't have done it without any of them," Romack said.
Thies had 13 points and Madison Butler added eight points and seven assists as well.
For St. Anthony (13-7), Kate Richards had 17 points and Makayla Walsh added nine, but getting the offense in sync remains a priority for Weidman.
"The main thing is trying to put 32 minutes of offense together," he said. "We've just got to find a way to get Kate, Makalya, Megan (Nuxoll) and Lauren going at the same time."
Neoga is 2-1 in the Round Robin and plays Centralia today for second place at 7:45 p.m.
St. Anthony falls to 0-3 and will play Dieterich today at 6:15 p.m. for fourth.
Neoga 6 15 10 16 47
St. Anthony 12 11 11 8 42
Neoga: Butler 8, Ott 3, Thies 13, Deters 17, Erickson 2, Roy 4
St. Anthony: Gardewine 2, Wendt 4, Nuxoll 6, Brown 2, Richards 17, Walsh 9, H. Niebrugge 2