Some clutch plays late and a great defensive effort were enough to rally the Lourdes girls’ basketball team past the Johnson-Brock Eagles 33-28 for a subdistrict championship during action at Freeman High School on Thursday night.
Johnson-Brock’s Jayse Koehler scored seven of the Eagles’ 13 points in the first quarter and J-B led 14-3 early in the second frame.
But the Knights battled back fiercely, starting with Macey Allgood’s two second quarter three-point baskets that cut the Eagles’ lead to 17-16 at the half.
A check of the offensive numbers showed how tough the first half had been with Lourdes hitting just 3-of-28 shots in the first two quarters.
And as the second half began, Johnson-Brock attempted to build a lead. The Eagles got their advantage to five points, but the Knights were not done fighting.
A Laura Box bucket at the end of the third quarter had the score deadlocked at 23 entering the game’s final frame.
Lourdes enjoyed a 26-23 lead after a Fulton three-point shot and Box later added a free throw to make it a four-point game.
After a Johnson-Brock three-point shot, Lourdes made several plays in succession that insured that the team would win Thursday’s game and advance to the district final.
Ivey Meyer had the ball on the deep left wing and, instead of putting up a three-point shot, decided to take a few dribbles to make it an easier attempt. She landed the shot, and Lourdes led by three.
Moments later Maggie Funke went to the line for a 1-and-1 free throw chance. Her free throw attempt missed, but Funke ran down the rebound and that eventually set up Fulton’s dribble drive and bucket that put the lead at five.
Another defensive stop gave the Knights the ball and Box attacked the bucket for a basket that made it 33-26.
Johnson-Brock hit for a bucket and had the ball with 10 seconds left under its hoop. A three-point shot, a turnover and a two-point shot would have tied the game for the Eagles, but the Knights would have none of that as Fulton stole the ball defensively and Lourdes ran out the clock.
Coach Clay Carlton said the full-game battle was difficult but noted that he was proud of his team for fighting hard and scoring the win.
“Those plays at the end showed a lot of heart for our girls,” he said. “We were waiting for the ball to go in the hoop and I guess it did at the right time.
“For the girls to battle on a night that we didn’t play very well and pull out the win was huge for us,” said Carlton.
The offense made clutch plays. But the defense should get a large amount of the credit too. After yielding 13 first quarter points, Lourdes gave up 15 more in the remaining three quarters of the contest.
“The ball didn’t go in, but our defense never faltered in the second half,” said Carlton.
With the win, the Knights advanced to play in the district final round and extended the careers of a senior class that is the winningest in Lourdes history.
That fact was not lost on the Knight seniors after the win.
“They’re happy. They were pretty pumped,” said Carlton. “They know we didn’t play our best. Right now a win is a win. It doesn’t matter how it looks.”
Coach Carlton said the team is excited to have the chance to play in the district final and is ready to take their shot at winning one more game and getting to the state tournament.

Subdistrict—Tuesday
Knight Girls 48, Tri County 27
Scoring for Lourdes were Laura Box, 22; Libby Fulton, nine; Ivey Meyer, nine; Macey Allgood, two; Jacey Kreifel, two; Maggie Funke, two; and Libby Baumert, two.

Subdistrict—Thursday
Knight Girls 33, J-B 28
Scoring for Lourdes were Laura Box, 12; Libby Fulton, nine; Macey Allgood, six; Ivey Meyer, five; and Anna Heng, one.