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A 3-pointer from senior Morgan Cripe sent last Thursday’s game in double-overtime, but even that wasn’t enough for Vandalia to get a win.
But a third overtime period was.
The Lady Vandals got a career-high 19 points from Cripe, held Pana standout Sydney Lett without a field goal and earned a much-needed 67-65 win in triple-overtime at Pana.
Vandalia, which had twice lost in overtime earlier in the season and hadn’t won by a margin closer than 23 points this season, finally found a way to win a close game, as the Lady Vandals (5-13) look to close out the season better than they opened it.
Early on, the game looked as if it would be a repeat of Pana’s 53-48 win at Vandalia earlier this season, as the Lady Panthers led by nine at halftime of last Thursday’s game.
Lett scored 31 points in the first game, but was held scoreless in the first half last Thursday, and she scored her only three points of the game on free throws in the fourth quarter.
After going without a point in the first half, Cripe got her game going in the third quarter, scoring nine of Vandalia’s 11 points.
Combined with strong defense that held Pana to just four points, Vandalia trailed by two and was able to tie the game at 45 at the end of regulation.
Both teams scored seven points in the first overtime and six in the second. The Lady Vandals earned the win with a 9-7 advantage in the third extra period.
Freshman Emma Meyer had 14 points, and sophomores Madelyn Hosick (12) and Makayla Tinker (11) also scored in double figures.
Breanna Schoonover had 22 points for Pana (6-15) to lead all scorers, and Lexie Siegert added 15.
Thursday, Jan. 16
Points: Cripe, 19; Meyer, 14; Hosick, 12; Tinker, 11; Karlie Bright, 6; Brandy Protz, 2; Kylie Sellers, 2; Randi Evans, 1.
JV: Vandalia lost, 59-56 (OT)
Vandalia had a tough test last Saturday in the first game of the Highland Tournament, taking on No. 2 seed Belleville West.
And with just six first-half points, it was clear that the No. 15 Lady Vandals were a bit overmatched.
Vandalia sophomore Madelyn Hosick had 10 points and seven rebounds, but the Class 4A Lady Maroons used their size and athleticism to take an easy 61-34 victory.
Belleville West put up 42 points in the first half, scoring 21 in each quarter, and was led in scoring by sophomore guards Shay Fluker (22 points) and Imani Berry (20).
Jesheon Cooper, a 6-foot-5 junior, used her size to score nine points and grab nine rebounds.
Vandalia (5-14) was scheduled to meet O’Fallon on Tuesday, but all games at the tournament were canceled due to snow.
The game was moved to Wednesday. With a loss, Vandalia will be eliminated from the tournament, and with a win, Vandalia moves on to play either Okawville or Wesclin on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 18
Belleville West 61
Points: Hosick, 10; Emma Meyer, 7; Morgan Cripe, 4; Makayla Tinker, 4; Randi Evans, 3; Karlie Bright, 2; Kaitlyn Kershaw, 2; Kylie Sellers, 2.
Rebounds: Cripe, 7; Hosick, 7; Tinker, 4; Kershaw, 2; Meyer, 1.