With time winding down, and the chances of the North Tama girls closing the gap on Don Bosco, junior Olivia Schrier hit a 3-pointer after coming off the bench to tie the game at 41-all. And with 45 seconds left, McKenzie Wood hit her first bucket of the second half, another 3-pointer to give the Redhawks the eventual win, 44-43.
Takoa Kopriva helped spark the run, canning four 3-pointers and leading the Redhawks (3-4, 3-3) with 16 points. Wood had 10 and Schrier had five in the win.
As a team, North Tama made seven 3-pointers, four in the first half and three pivotal ones in the second. And while Don Bosco (0-7, 0-5) was held to zero 3-pointers made, Maddie Huff and the Dons posted 32 of their 43 points from inside the paint.
Karly Jans (30) and Lydia Schafer (42) celebrate after Jans successfully deflected an inbounds pass and regained possession of the ball during the second half of Tuesday night’s 44-43 win against Don Bosco. Jans had seven points in the win.
It was, in fact, range against muscle throughout much of Tuesday night's bout in Tama.
"We have a play I tried to get them to do earlier in the game, but it didn't quite work, so I drew it up again," said North Tama head coach Justin Keck. "Thankfully, we got the ball out of bounds, and called for the inbounds play for a 3. Honestly, we're not full of big girls who can finish, so I'm looking for an outside shot at this point. And [Schrier] made it, thankfully."
There weren't as many sighs of relief as there were cheers of jubilation from the Redhawk bench as Schrier's 18-footer swished through the net. Keck said it was one of their best shooting nights of the year, and more so one of the most competitive.
Huff led all scorers with 28 points, having her way with pretty much whatever she wanted inside of four feet. But a handful of times, including the final sequence of events, the Redhawk defense was able to step up, force a turnover, and come out with a win.
"From what I could tell, [Huff] was the only one who could put it in consistently," Keck said. "She was the only form of offense they had. So basically, the idea, was shut her down, down low."
After a forced jump ball went Don Bosco's way as the Redhawks attempted to run out the clock, the Dons looked down low for Huff and the game-winning layup. But the Redhawks were ready, stealing the pass and securing the win.
North Tama shooters accounted for 16 made field goals and went 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. Don Bosco made 18 shots, all for 2-pointers, and shot 7-for-15 from the charity stripes. It was the 3-point shooting - a 7-to-0 ratio in favor of the Redhawks - that allowed the Redhawks their first win at home this year.
"It feels great, especially at home," Keck said. "You can tell it gets loud in there and that's exciting. For the girls, it's a big pick-me-up."
Karly Jans put up seven points with two buckets in the second half and a 1-for-2 mark at the free-throw line. Lydia Schafer helped out with four points and Madeline Espenscheid had a bucket in the first half to help out North Tama's scoring efforts.