Phenomenal finale

Terland posts 15 points, Emter 10 on Senior Night

It won’t be a night soon forgotten for a pair of high school basketball game extended by pure will. 

Despite two heartbreaking overtime losses, a thunderous crowd rallied and willed the home teams back into an extra period in both the boys’ and girls’ basketball games. 

On the girls’ side, freshman Jaylea Lunceford forced overtime with a 1-for-2 mark at the free-throw line with 3.6 seconds remaining in regulation, extending a pair of seniors’ season a little bit longer at home. The ultimate ending was a 48-43 loss as Park continued to bolster its free-throw percentage through the extra period. 

“It was different than I thought it would be,” said senior Elle Terland, about the theatrics of Senior Night. “But not too much. I just felt like this was our night, that we were going to just do the best we can. I knew this was going to be our time.”

The Rangers (5-11, Class A) went 19-for-32 from the free-throw line. With as many opportunities as they had, the Rangers continued their mark of 11-for-16 in overtime. Park’s Kodie Vondra was the main contributor, going 7-for-14 from the charity stripe. 

PHOTO: There's more than just one, single photo that can describe the emotion of Senior Night. Let these photos do the talking.

SGHS head coach Kim Finn said Lunceford going just 1-for-2 with less than seven seconds left will be a learning experience the entire team can take into the postseason.

“This is a great learning game for tournaments,” Finn said. “We’ve never played in an overtime game. There’s a lot of decision making. We couldn’t make the decisions as much in the end, but we kept playing hard. It was a fun game to coach, I just wish we could’ve won it.”

While free throws have been a bit of a bug the Herders (6-12) haven’t been able to shake this year, they had no issues from behind the arc. Time and time again, when there was a bit of a lull, seniors Madilyn Emter — who had 10 points and seven assists against Park — and Terland came up with a big 3-pointer. 

Terland finished with a team-high 15 points, three assists and three rebounds in her final game at home — a fitting finale. 

In the waning moments, Finn didn’t adjust much to the game plan.

“I told them to just keep playing hard. You’re having fun,” Finn said. “Just keep plugging away, because this was the best games we’ve played, back-to-back. We didn’t shoot as well as we did [against Manhattan]. But I told them to just keep playing hard and smart.”

For more of this story, pick up a copy of this week’s Big Timber Pioneer on newsstands now, or subscribe online at bigtimberpioneer.net.

PHOTO CAPTION: Elle Terland (10) celebrates for teammate Jaylea Lunceford, who got fouled with 6.4 seconds remaining, sending Lunceford to the free-throw line to tie the game. Lunceford sank 1-of-2 and extended Terland’s playing time in Big Timber an extra quarter against Park on Feb. 9. (STEPHEN KALB-KOENIGSFELD / Big Timber Pioneer)

By STEPHEN KALB-KOENIGSFELD / Pioneer editor

 

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