LONGVILLE – With just under a minute to go Tuesday evening, Notre Dame held a one-point lead and the ball and it looked as if the top-ranked Lady Pios would turn back a determined upset bid by South Beauregard’s Lady K’s.
But the Lady K’s, not the least bit intimidated by Notre Dame’s lofty ranking, forced two turnovers and scored seven points in the final 59 seconds to pull off a shocking 63-57 upset and hand the Lady Pios their first league defeat of the season.
With the victory, the Lady K’s (19-6) took over sole possession of first place in District 4-3A (5-0). Notre Dame slipped to 19-5 overall and 4-1 in league play.
“If you take out all the bad plays we had tonight, we still had a one-point lead with a minute to go,” said Notre Dame coach Nolan Theriot. “But we had two horrible possessions after that. We had our opportunities.”
Notre Dame’s Gabbie Romero drove the lane for a bucket and was fouled with 1:49 remaining. She connected on the subsequent free throw, giving the Lady Pios a 57-56 advantage, their first lead since the 1:50 mark of the first quarter.
The Lady K’s then missed two free throws and the Lady Pios came down court with the rebound. But a costly turnover with 59 seconds remaining allowed South Beauregard to regain the lead (58-57) with 46 seconds remaining.
The Lady K’s added another bucket following a missed shot by the Lady Pios and then a turnover led to another free throw. South Beauregard added two more free throws in the final seconds to seal the victory.
Early shooting problems contributed to the defeat. The Lady Pios connected on just nine of their 28 shots from the floor in the first half. They went 5-18 from inside the arch and 4-of 10 from 3-point range.
South Beauregard took advantage of the Lady Pios’ offensive struggles and took a 33-23 advantage at the break behind 11 points from forward Shanna Barrow and eight from guard Morgan Dailey.
“We didn’t get out to the best start (offensively) and we definitely did not play our best defensively in the first half,” said Theriot. “I want to give South Beauregard some credit, they put us in some situations, but nothing that we weren’t technically prepared for.
“We were just a step slow here and there and No. 12 (Daigle) just does such a great job of getting the basketball and slicing and dicing. The next thing you know, they’re at the free throw line.”
That free throw line proved to be the tale of the tape.
The Lady Pios were whistled for 21 fouls and sent South Beauregard to the line for 24 shots, of which the Lady K’s connected on 18.
The Lady K’s, on the other hand, were hit with just 12 fouls and the Lady Pios didn’t help themselves out with a 5-for-14 performance from the charity stripe.
“That’s the difference right there,” said Theriot of his team’s free throw shooting.
Barrow poured in 13 points in the second half and finished the night with a game-high 24 points to lead all scorers.
“If you’re going to talk about a player in the ballgame, the difference in the ball game, I think it was 43 (Barrow),” said Theriot. “She is one of their better defenders and we didn’t really expect her to shoot the basketball as well as she did. Now, a lot of her shots were from six and eight feet because we did a terrible job of slowing her down.”
Dailey followed Barrow with 19 points.
Romero scored 16 of her team-high 21 points in the second half for the Lady Pios.
Sam Lyons, who fouled out early in the fourth quarter, added 12 points. Madelyn LeJeune, Katherine Kirsch and Hanna Esthay scored six points each, Liddy Rothermel had four and Alex Miller finished with two.
South Beau 59, Pios 28
LONGVILLE – South Beauregard jumped out to a 28-point advantage in the first half and never looked back Tuesday in a convincing win over Notre Dame.
The Pios (3-20, 0-5) were led by Jacob LeLeux with eight points and Tre Milstead and Hunter Meche, each had five. Tyler Simar and Boedy Borill each pitched in three points while Luke Habetz and John Duos each had two.