November 23, 2014

AGS girls’ pull off comeback despite poor free throw shooting

Brent Baker
Adriane Swaffield and AuGres-Sims finished off Hale's North Star League title hopes Thursday with a come-from-behind 37-33 victory.
Brent Baker
Hale's Chelsea Niederquell lines up an outside shot at AuGres-Sims on Thursday.
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By Brent Baker|Special to the Independent
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AUGRES — It's not too often a team can go 6-of-19 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter yet pull off a come-from-behind victory.

AuGres-Sims' girls’ basketball team pulled off that feat Thursday, outscoring Hale 9-2 down the stretch despite a frustrating night at the line.

"The girls play hard; we've been giving some great effort," said AGS coach Gordie Ostrander. "The free throws and inside shots we miss are frustrating, but these are kids, not pros.

"We played some great defense and were unselfish."

Hale led 25-20 after three quarters, but five points by Emily Lutz drew the Wolverines into a tie midway through the quarter.

Tarra Caverly's 3-pointer with 2:20 left gave the Eagles a 31-28 lead. But a combination of the Wolverines' full court press, offensive rebounding and a few breaks that went their way more than made up from their struggles at the line.

"There were some questionable things that happened -- dribbling on the sideline and a charge that there was no way was a charge," said Hale coach Joe Kimmerer. "There were things that happened both ways through the game, but it seemed that for three or four possessions nothing went our way.

"We need to keep our focus through things like that, though. We didn't make a lot of shots we usually do, and if those go down it's a different game."

After Caverly's triple, Lutz answered with a score after Ashli Maser's offensive rebound, and Adriane Swaffield's steal and score off the full court press gave AGS a 32-31 lead.

AGS made 2-of-4 free throws after a pair of Hale turnovers, but an offensive foul called with 43 seconds left and AGS up by four was a damaging blow.

The Wolverines threw everything they could into slowing down the high-scoring Caverly, throwing fresh players at her throughout the game and denying her the ball. She still ended up with a team-high 13 points, scoring nearly every time she got an open look.

"She is so tough," Ostrander said. "I thought we did a great job on her, but you give her any kind of opening and it's all over. We hardly gave her any space, but when she got even a little it was like automatic points."

The Wolverines led 15-13 after a physical first half in which Hale was almost as effective at shutting down Lutz as the Wolverines were with Caverly.

Hale finished the third quarter on an 8-1 run as Liz Lerczak scored six points and Caverly finished the quarter with a layup.

Lutz had 17 points for the Wolverines (9-6, 5-4 NSL) while Swaffield had 12 points and 12 rebounds and Trombley had 13 rebounds.

Hale (7-5, 5-4) had Caverly with 13 points, Sara Michalski with 10 and Lerczak with eight.

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