Teutopolis looked like a team possessed in the fourth quarter, flying around the court to force turnovers and create open looks at the basket.
Trying to battle back from a sluggish start that had the Lady Shoes down 28-19 after three quarters, Teutopolis gave every ounce of effort they had left in the tank.
But the strong finish wasn't enough, as the Lady Shoes' slow start out of the gates cost them in their 43-36 defeat to Nashville at the Salem 2A Super-Sectional.
"We waited too long," Lady Shoes' coach Laurie Thompson said. "We just needed to start a little sooner."
Nashville took control of the game early, drawing first blood on Hannah Yung's 3-pointer from the left wing. Teutopolis made just one field goal in the first quarter on Jessica Schumacher's pull-up jumper, putting the Lady Shoes behind the eight ball early .
Nashville didn't fare much better, but Erica Brown's baseline drive gave the Lady Hornets a 7-3 lead after one.
"The [Nashville] girl hit that first shot," Thompson said, "and then they made a couple buckets after that. I think our girls said, Ôlet's be patient and wait for the perfect shot.' We weren't aggressive."
Much like the first quarter, Nashville began its second frame with a 3-pointer from Jordi Harre at the top of the key to extend the lead to seven. From there the Lady Hornets would take it inside, using their size advantage in the paint for a pair of easy buckets. Brown sealed her defender in the low block, receiving a perfect pass for a short look at the bucket and a 12-5 lead.
Following a Cierra Thompson drive for Teutopolis, Nashville again went to the post, executing a perfect pick-and-roll for Shaye Harre's first bucket of the night. A pair of Madeline Hartke free throws made it a 14-9 game at the break.
"We had some mismatch issues," Laurie Thompson said. "They have a lot of weapons."
Teutopolis made three shots in the first half, severely limiting the full-court press in which coach Thompson's squad had excelled all season. With such few converted shot attempts, the Lady Shoes forced three first-half turnovers.
"We've got to make some shots to get in good position and get the press going," she said. "When we're missing shots and taking long shots, we don't allow that to happen."
Nashville continued to hold its lead in the third quarter, extending its advantage to as many as 12 points before Teutopolis finally showed life at the quarter's tail end. Down 26-13, Chelsey Hardiek connected on a 3-ball from the top of the key to cut the Nashville lead to 10. Teutopolis surrendered a bucket on the following Nashville possession, but Cierra Thompson's buzzer-beating 3-pointer from a step inside the halfcourt line cut the Lady Hornets' lead to nine with one period to play.
"I knew we were going to score points," coach Thompson said. "Once our defense picks up, our confidence picks up with it."
The Lady Shoes forced three turnovers in the third quarter alone, as many as they had generated in the entire first half. With a spark of life after Cierra Thompson's late-quarter heave, Teutopolis amped up the pressure in the fourth.
Trailing 32-18, the Lady Shoes embarked on a 16-5 run in the middle of the quarter that was capped off by Danielle Repking's 3-pointer with 90 seconds left. The shot made it a 37-34 game, and brought the Teutopolis crowd to its feet. The Lady Shoes forced four turnovers in the quarter's first six minutes, allowing for coach Thompson's squad to make the late charge.
Nashville's Jordi Harre scored from close range on the Lady Hornets' next possession before Hartke's putback again made it a one possession game. Yet Teutopolis would fall just short, as Nashville converted four of six attempts at the charity stripe in the waning seconds to end the scoring. The Lady Shoes missed their final three attempts from the floor to fall short, 43-36.
"In many of the games we got beat this season, we didn't play until the fourth quarter," coach Thompson said. "We've got to take this lesson into next season."
The loss capped off a 25-8 season for Teutopolis, who will only grow in experience from the defeat in the round of eight. The Lady Shoes have no seniors on their roster, and will again be a tough squad when November rolls around.
"There was no pressure here," coach Thompson said. "They succeeded everyone's expectations. They surprised a lot of people this year."
Teutopolis 3 6 10 17 - 36
Nashville 7 7 14 15 - 43
Teutopolis- Hardiek 10, Thompson 8, Hartke 6, Schumacher 6, Repking 4, Giles 2.
Nashville- J Harre 10, Yung 10, Brown 8, S. Harre 8, Rennegarbe 7.