Ewing comes from behind, defeats Elkhorn Valley in overtime
TILDEN -- No. 7 Ewing scored just one point in the third quarter, trailed by six with 2:27 to play in the fourth, forced overtime, then scored the first 10 points in the extra period to defeat No. 6 Elkhorn Valley 49-41 in girls basketball action here.
The two teams combined to shoot 54 three-point shots, making 12 (Ewing 7, Elkhorn Valley 5). Both squads also struggled from the free throw line as the Tigers made of eight of 18 while the Falcons could muster just 10 of 26.
“It sure seemed like I would envision a 1920s ball game to be,” Elkhorn Valley coach Brendan Dittmer said, “with poor shooting on both sides for awhile.”
“There aren’t many games where you score one point in the third quarter and win,” Ewing coach Greg Appleby said. “We told them just to keep playing, the lid might come off; I thought we got good shots.”
In the first quarter, both teams worked the ball around the perimeter against their opponents’ zones -- Ewing’s 3-2 and Elkhorn Valley’s 1-3-1 -- and were content to launch three-pointers, connecting on just one each.
Both coaches had similar messages for their teams after the one quarter as both offenses attacked the rim more often in the second period.
Amber Miller’s layup pulled the Falcons to within 17-15 with 3:55 to go in the half, but the Tigers went on a 6-2 run for the remainder of the second quarter. Ashley Koenig’s put-back with 32 seconds left gave Ewing a 23-17 lead going into the break.
Appleby was happy with the six-point lead. “We were short a little bit tonight, we didn’t have a starter, Sidney Stallbaum (flu), who’s probably our second or third-leading scorer,” he said. “Our goal was to hang around early and we did more than hang around, we were able to control that first half; we were up six and I thought should have been 10, 12 something like that.”
The third quarter was all Elkhorn Valley. Hannah Ollendick dominated the period with a three-point basket, a layup and two free throws as the Falcons turned a six-point deficit into a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Sierra Rystrom hit back-to-back three-pointers and had the Falcons up 37-31 with 2:27 to play in regulation but the Tigers responded with their own back-to-back threes. Brenna Wagner used the glass from the left wing, then Tiana Thramer drained a shot from the right baseline and with 1:40 to play, the game was tied at 37-all.
Twenty seconds later, Ollendick found Miller under the basket. Her layup made it 39-37 Falcons. Koenig then hit two clutch free throws on the other end to tie it at 39.
Both teams had chances to score in the final minute of the fourth quarter. With about 20 seconds left, Elkhorn Valley worked its offense to take the last shot, but the Tigers’ Miranda Summers stole the ball and appeared to be driving coast-to-coast for a potential game-winning layup. Just as she arrived at the hoop, Miller caught her from behind and batted the ball out of her hands and out of bounds.
Following a timeout, the Tigers had a chance for a game-winner that fell short. Miller got the rebound for the Falcons and pushed it ahead to her teammate Ollendick, who looked to have a shot at a game-ending layup of her own, but the buzzer sounded a fraction of a second before she could get the ball out of her hand.
Ewing, which had tallied 16 points in the third and fourth quarters combined, scored exactly half of that in the first minute overtime. Thramer hit a three, Koenig turned a Falcon turnover into a layup on the other end, and Schindler nailed a three from the baseline.
“It took the air out of their balloon at that point,” Appleby said. “It was bam, bam, we got that lead early on and you could just kind of feel we seized all momentum and we were tired, but it gave our girls energy to keep playing as we go.”
Elkhorn Valley had chances to cut into the Tiger lead but missed its first four free throws of the extra period as Ewing hung on for a big Niobrara Conference win.
Dittmer said it’s better to lose in January than in February. “We’re playing for February and March basketball, so this is hopefully a learning experience for us and moving forward, we’re never going to shoot this poorly again.”
Both teams are now 9-2. “We talked about it was time to beat somebody really good and Elkhorn Valley is really good,” Appleby said. It was time to beat somebody good, where you can hang that thing up on a wall and say, ‘you know what, that’s a good win.’”
Ewing 9 14 1 15 10 - 49
Elkhorn Valley 7 10 10 12 2 - 41
EWING (9-2): Brenna Wagner 5 1-4 13; Jaidyn Schindler 1 0-0 3; Hailey Rotherham 1 1-4 3; Ashley Koenig 4 4-6 12; Tiana Thramer 4 1-2 12; Miranda Summers 2 1-2 6; Totals 17 8-18 49.
EKLHORN VALLEY (9-2): Kaylee Bacon 1 1-4 3; Olivia Nall 2 1-3 7; Sierra Rystrom 3 3-4 11; Amber Miller 2 3-4 7; Carney Black 1 0-2 2; Hannah Ollendick 4 2-9 11; 13 10-26 41.
3-point field goals: Ewing 7 (Wagner 2, Schindler, Thramer 3, Summers); Elkhorn Valley 5 (Nall 2, Rystrom 2, Ollendick); 2-point field goal percentage: Ewing 10 for 26, 38.5 percent, Elkhorn Valley 8 for 37, 21.6 percent; 3-point field goal percentage, Ewing 7 for 28, 25 percent, Elkhorn Valley 5 for 26, 19.2 percent; Rebounds: Ewing 49, Elkhorn Valley 53; Fouls: Ewing 20, Elkhorn Valley 14; Turnovers: Ewing 19, Elkhorn Valley 16.