Altamont head coach Katie Lurkins said it took a gut-check moment for her Lady Indians to realize what they were up against entering the fourth quarter down 35-26 against Brownstown/St. Elmo Wednesday night.
It’s one thing to realize it; it’s another to act upon it and come back.
The Lady Indians did both, stunning Brownstown/St. Elmo by outscoring them 15-1 in the fourth-quarter for a come-from-behind 39-36 win at the Class 1A Altamont Regional semifinal, keeping their season alive.
“It was one of those gut check times. You’ve got to do it now, otherwise there’s no other time to do it,” Lurkins said. “I thought they did a great job adjusting with each other and taking care of that.”
While the team defense stepped up for one of Altamont’s best quarters of the season, the offensive load fell on the shoulders of senior Madison Ohnesorge in the fourth quarter.
Ohnesorge had had a rough night to that point, scoring 10 points in the first three quarters and struggling from the field. So, the senior did most of her work driving to the lane, getting fouled, and converting on free throws, going 5-for-6 at the line as the Indians cut the lead from 35-24 late in the third to 35-33 with 4:34 left.
While Altamont was hitting the majority of its free throws, Brownstown/St. Elmo was missing its attempts late. Danie Austin hit 1-of-2 on a one-and-one with 2:23 left for the Bombers’ only point in the quarter, and they went 1-for-6 in the frame as Altamont came back.
Macy Wendling hit a jumper with 1:55 left to make it 36-35, and Brownstown missed three free throws from there. Ohnesorge made the most of her next shot, hitting a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left to give Altamont the lead, 38-36.
“Eventually, one of those has to go (in),” Lurkins said. “Madi did a great job in that fourth quarter. She’s great at cutting to the basket, she got fouled right away, she scored from the line and that relaxed her a bit.”
Renee Tillman hit one free throw with 13.4 seconds left to give Altamont a three-point lead, and Brownstown turned it over with 6.4 seconds left trying to bring the ball downcourt when Emily Bone traveled near midcourt.
Altamont turned it over inbounding it, giving the Bombers one last shot, but it fell short, allowing Altamont to advance to the regional final against St. Anthony tonight.
The game was close until the third quarter, with the Lady Bombers leading 14-11 after one and 20-18 at the half.
Ohnesorge finished with a game-high 20 points, with Tillman adding five.
The offense stepped up late with Wendling and Ohnesorge hitting timely jumpers, but the defense forced seven turnovers in the fourth quarter to allow the comeback to happen.
“We did a good job of really working together, and you could tell on their faces they weren’t going to lose this game,” Lurkins said. “It was making that commitment, they forced them left and forced them out of what they’d been doing those first three quarters.”
Morgan Brown and Molly Hill each had 10 points for Brownstown/St. Elmo. Head coach Brian Pruett was not available for comment following the game. The Lady Bombers end the season at 15-10.
Altamont (12-11) plays host to top-seeded St. Anthony at 7 p.m. tonight, with the Lady Bulldogs being the home team on Altamont’s home court.
Altamont 11 7 8 13 39
Brownstown/St. Elmo 14 6 15 1 36
Altamont: M. Ohnesorge 20, L. Ohnesorge 4, Laatsch 2, Smith 2, Tillman 5, Wendling 4, Burns 2
B/SE: Pruett 5, Austin 5, Fitch 2, Hill 10, Moore 4, Brown 10