By Will Willems
---- — With two minutes remaining in the girls basketball contest between Lebanon and Tri-West, it still wasn’t clear who was going to come out on top in the contest.
But in the final two minutes, the Lady Tigers were able to execute nearly perfectly, while the Bruins couldn’t get anything going, allowing Lebanon to pull away for a 53-42 victory.
"I think (the finish) was a characteristic of what we have been trying to tell them all year," Lebanon head coach Beth DeVinney said. "We knew we had a good number of kids coming back and we were trying to find the kids that started off as a role players and now they are playing significant minutes. We are just rotating kids around and seeing who matches up well with who and our kids are getting to the point where it doesn't matter who is in the game as long as we get the win at the end. It has been a rough way to go for us with Carly missing the last couple of games and we dropped a really tough emotional game to Brebeuf and I think the girls have responded well. We have a tough group and that is characteristic of us, hit a big shot then stretch it out."
Lebanon led by four heading to the fourth quarter, but a three-point play by the Bruins’ Madison Sprecher cut the lead to one with 7:13 to go.
The Bruins had multiple chances to tie or take the lead, but missed two shots and had three turnovers before Lebanon scored five-straight points on a basket by Kristen Spolyar and a 3-pointer by Brooke Montgomery.
Tri-West got within four twice, the last time coming at 44-40 with 2:07 to play, but Lebanon scored nine of the final 11 points to finish out the game.
"That has been the same story the last couple of games," Tri-West head coach Brad Acton said. "We keep having turnovers at the wrong time. We are playing well the majority of the time, but you have to be able to understand situations better, not getting in a hurry and take care of the ball. We had too many critical mistakes at the wrong time. You play hard the first 30 minutes, then let it get away int he last two, there is no excuse for that."
Lebanon (11-4, 4-1 in the Sagamore) held Tri-West to just 11 of 30 shooting (36.7 percent) and forced 23 turnovers.
For more of this story, read Saturday's Lebanon Reporter.