“It was our first home win and it’s late January, so it feels good to finally get one at home,” said Lady Irish head coach Josh Miller. “We’ve been working hard to be able to play four solid quarters. We hadn’t been able to do that yet this season and tonight I thought we put four pretty good quarters together.”
An 11-10 Willard first quarter lead turned into a 23-12 advantage as the Lady Tigers had balanced scoring during a 12-2 run in the second quarter. Catholic stayed tough and cut the lead to five at halftime.
“I thought we did a pretty good job but the last minute of the first-half we flattened out and gave up a few easy buckets, let a couple of things happen that changed the momentum and it was a dogfight the rest of the night,” said Willard head coach Mike Percival.
Willard still had a six point lead late in the third quarter, but a 10-1 run by Catholic gave the Lady Irish their first lead of the night at 38-37 on an Emma Thomas 3-point basket. With the score tied at 44 midway through the fourth quarter, junior guard Julianne Cabasi drained a long three-pointer to give the Lady Irish a lead they would not relinquish. That would be the last field goal either team made as it became a free throw contest down the stretch. Incredibly, 18 free throws were shot in the last 1:08 of the game. Catholic made 8 of 12 of it’s free throws during the stretch to secure the win.
Junior guard Chelsea Collins paced the Lady Irish with 19 points. Senior forward Madison Robertson was solid at both ends of the floor and added 16 points.
Willard was led in scoring by senior guard Amber Percival with 15 points. Sophomore forward Mariah Stewart added 11.
Springfield Catholic picked up its fifth win of the season against 12 losses, while Willard now stands at 7-9.
Score by quarters:
Willard 16 13 8 13 - 50
Catholic 10 14 9 24 - 57
Amber Percival 15, Mariah Stewart 11, Ali Perry 8, Makenzie Parker 7, Caitlyn Carpenter 4, Rachel Williamson 3, Chelsea Yates 2.
Chelsea Collins 19, Madison Robertson 16, Emma Thomas 8, Megan Loethen 7, Elise Roeder 4, Julianne Cabasi 3.
Willard 33 Springfield Catholic 20.