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Red Oak foils Creston’s upset bid

Panthers lose 6-point lead in overtime

Published: Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 1:40 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 1:53 a.m. CDT
Caption
(CNA photo by LARRY PETERSON)
Creston's Jenna Taylor (right) battles Angela Mahoney of Red Oak for a loose ball during Friday's Hawkeye 10 Conference game here. Taylor finished with 15 points and six rebounds in the 69-67 overtime loss.

A Red Oak team that had been rated earlier in the season was on the verge of defeat against the Creston girls here Friday night.

It was all shaping up to be a terrific start to a special evening in the Creston High School gym, as the EAST and SADD student groups combined efforts to raise more than $4,000 for a blanket warmer at Greater Regional Medical Center Cancer Center in the school’s “Wrap Up Cancer” event.

Creston players were wearing pink uniforms for the cancer support cause, and the commons area was buzzing with fundraising activities.

A good crowd was on hand to see the Panthers stage an upset bid, leading Red Oak by six points in overtime after Jenna Taylor’s 3-pointer on a sideline out-of-bounds play tied it near the end of regulation, 57-57.

Red Oak was sitting tied for third in the Hawkeye 10 at 6-3, and 12-6 overall. The Panthers were 2-7 and 7-11, but hopeful based on a competitive 41-35 loss earlier at Red Oak.

And, the Tigers were missing Bailey Hankins from illness in the varsity lineup, after injuries had already felled two players earlier, including starters Blake Bergren and Sabrina Guerra.

67-61 lead

This was a prime opportunity in front of the home crowd, as the Panthers bolted to a 67-61 lead on two Taylor free throws with 34 seconds left in the overtime period.

Then the Tigers seized every opportunity given them, and they received a couple of crucial ones.

Taylor — the team’s leading free throw shooter in a game where Red Oak was fouling to stop the clock — fouled out with 23 seconds left.

Then Red Oak center Grace Blomstedt made one free throw, but missed the second to close it to 67-62. Creston missed two ensuing free throws after being fouled upon rebounding the miss.

Coming downcourt, Red Oak all-conference guard Kate Walker was fouled on a 3-point shot, and casually dropped in all three charity shots to narrow it to 67-65 with 15 seconds left.

Creston again missed two free throws after a Red Oak foul. To make matters worse, Walker was fouled on the rebound scramble of the second miss, giving her a chance to swish two more shots through the net for a 67-67 tie at :12.

In a matter of 22 seconds, the six-point lead had evaporated.

Final possession

Creston’s next possession was momentarily stopped as the ball went out of bounds near the corner of the Tigers’ basket, leaving a side out-of-bounds entry with 10 seconds left.

The ball got knocked loose from Natalie Mostek in a double-team trap, and Blomstedt alertly picked it up and dribbled toward the Tiger basket for a quick jump shot. It missed, but she quickly snared the rebound and dropped in the second attempt just before the buzzer, letting Red Oak walk away with a stunning 69-67 victory.

“We had them. I don’t know how else to put it,” Creston coach Larry McNutt said. “Even at the end there, Blomstedt missed the first shot, but we didn’t block her out. We fouled on a three and fouled on a rebound when they had to go the length of the court with 12 seconds left. It just wasn’t smart. It’s too bad, because we outplayed them for most of the game.”

Even with some extra attention from the Panther defense, Walker finished with 38 points, including 12-of-13 shooting at the line. Blomstedt added 21, but no other Tiger managed more than seven.

Mostek led Creston with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Chelcee Downing made three 3-pointers and matched Taylor with 15 points. The more balanced Creston team nearly put five players in double figures, as Camryn Somers tallied nine points and Taylor Briley added eight.

“I thought when Camryn hit that high post jumper to put us up four (63-59, 2:12 left), that we would get them,” McNutt said. “We fouled Walker too much. She isn’t going to miss there.”

RED OAK (69) — Kate Walker 12 12-13 38, Grace Blomstedt 7 7-8 21, Micayla Taylor 3 0-0 7, Maranada Gowdy 0 1-3 1. Totals — 23 20-24 69. FG shooting — 23-49 (46.9 percent). 3-point goals — 3-7 (Walker 2, Taylor 1). Steals — 4 (Walker 3). Rebounds — 21 (Walker 9, Blomstedt 8. Turnovers — 5. Team fouls — 16. Fouled out — Mahoney.

CRESTON (67) — Natalie Mostek 6 3-3 16, Jenna Taylor 5 4-4 15, Chelcee Downing 5 2-2 15, Camryn Somers 1 7-10 9, Taylor Briley 3 2-4 8, Olivia Nielsen 1 2-2 4. Totals — 21 20-25 67. FG shooting — 21-52 (40.4 percent). 3-point goals — 5-9 (Downing 3, Taylor 1, Mostek 1). Rebounds — 33 (N. Mostek 14, Somers 7, Taylor 6).  Assists — 14 (Mostek 4, Briley 4). Steals — 4 (Somers 3). Turnovers — 13. Team fouls — 17. Fouled out — Taylor.

Red Oak — 20 35 48 57 69

Creston — 17 34 43 57 67

JUNIOR VARSITY

Creston broke away from a 10-10 tie in the first quarter to defeat the Red Oak JV Friday night, 54-35.

Cammy Rutherford scored 22 points for Creston and Caitlin McIlravy added 17.

“First quarter was a battle,” said Creston coach Mendy McCreight. “Then we came back out in the second quarter and outscored them 14-6. We outscored them in the fourth quarter 22-11. Caitlin and Cammy both had great offensive games for us.”

Creston (54) — Cammy Rutherford 22, Caitlin McIlravy 17, Maria Mostek 4, Sadie Jones 4, Madison Callahan 4, Lexie Little 3. 3-point goals — None. Free throws — 18-32. Rebounds — 29 (Rutherford 7, McIlravy 6, Callahan 5, Little 3, Ross 3). Steals — 6 (Little 3, M. Mostek 2). Assists — 6 (M. Mostek 2). Team fouls — 13. Halftime score — Creston 24, Red Oak 16.

Red Oak (35).

FRESHMEN

Creston freshmen bolted to an 18-4 lead in the first quarter on the way to beating Red Oak Friday night, 42-16.

Cammy Rutherford finished with 20 points and eight rebounds for Creston (6-3).

Creston (42) — Cammy Rutherford 20, Madison Callahan 7, Logan Pettit 6, Lexie Little 4, Becca Ross 3, Rachel Shepherd 2. 3-point goals — None. Free throws — 2-10. Rebounds — Rutherford 8, Pettit 7, Little 6, Ross 3. Steals — Rutherford 3, Shepherd 3, Callahan 2, Little 2, Jessica Beatty 2. Assists — Shepherd 2 Team fouls — 11 Halftime score — Creston 26, Red Oak 10.

Red Oak (16) — Lauren Gilbert 12, Lauren Thurman 2, Sarah Behrens 2. 3-point goals — None. Free throws — 0-2.

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