The Herald Bulletin

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Sports

November 28, 2012

Fourth-quarter rally keys Tigers' victory

Alex upsets previously unbeaten Wapahani

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — Alexandria senior Peyton Quinn spent large chunks of the second and third quarters on the bench because of foul trouble.

When she finally was freed in the fourth quarter, all the trouble shifted to Wapahani.

Quinn scored 11 of her game-high 18 points in the final period, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with about three minutes left, and the Tigers upset the visiting Raiders 51-45.

“She got a lot of time sitting on the bench beside us (coaches) and listening,” Alexandria girls basketball coach Tina Bolte said. “All she heard was, ‘We need a spark, we need some energy.’ When you’re sitting right by the coaches, you get a little understanding of what’s needed.”

Quinn’s late heroics were possible only because of an outstanding defensive effort by Alexandria (1-3) in the second half.

Trailing 30-26 at the half, the Tigers held Wapahani (4-1) to 3-for-19 shooting the rest of the way and forced 17 turnovers.

Senior Carlee Wihebrink led the charge — quite literally. She planted herself in the paint, helping the Tigers force turnovers on three straight possessions when the Raiders were called for player-control fouls.

“It was huge,” Bolte said. “Defense was the only reason we were behind in the first half. We took three charges in a row, and it’s just momentum. Right then, we needed something to give us momentum.”

It took some time for the Tigers to see the fruits of their defensive labor, however.

Alexandria shot 2-for-12 from the field and turned the ball over six times in the third quarter. That left the Tigers facing a 39-30 deficit to start the final period.

But there was hope.

Much of the third quarter had been played with Quinn and fellow senior Shanna Kelly on the bench. Kelly, who underwent treatment for skin cancer throughout the summer and fall, threw up at halftime and wasn’t feeling well all night.

But she responded when it mattered most.

Quinn’s 3-pointer gave Alexandria a 44-42 lead with about three minutes left, but she fouled out with 2:18 remaining and the score unchanged.

Kelly took over down the stretch, sinking 4 of 6 free-throw attempts to keep the Tigers in front. Her steal and lay-up with 15 seconds to go clinched the win.

“To see that spirit, that spark ... she probably should not have played tonight,” Bolte said. “That’s just the kind of kid she is. She has a big heart.”

Sophomore Courtney Skinner joined Quinn and Kelly in double figures with 11 points, and Wihebrink pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.

Wihebrink also unofficially led the game in floor burns.

“She literally has trademarked the hustle play for us,” Bolte said. “What she brings is invaluable.”

No Wapahani player scored in double figures. Freshman Kambrey Jolley led the Raiders with eight points before fouling out in the fourth quarter. There were 52 combined fouls called — 26 against each team — and four players fouled out in all.

Wapahani did not help its cause in the final period, missing all nine of its field-goal attempts and sinking just 4-of-15 from the free-throw line.

“Wapahani spreads the floor, and they do a great job of making a lot of passes,” Bolte said. “It’s hard to defend, especially in the fourth quarter. We just had to stay together and stay focused, and we got the win.”

The Tigers travel to Frankton on Friday.

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