Ingalls junior Ashlyn Cure was called for having stepped out of bounds on an inbound pass. On the following play, Spearville freshman Alissa Heskamp missed a free throw, and the Bulldogs got the rebound with about five seconds left.

Their last shot hit the side of the rim, but was released just after the final buzzer and wouldn't have counted anyway.

That was the ending Saturday night in United Wireless Arena, where the Spearville Lady Lancers escaped the third-place game of the 2018 SPIAA League Basketball Tournament with a 47-44 victory.

Heskamp was otherwise outstanding. The freshman hit two of three free-throws in the game. Her miss in the last minute was preceded earlier in that minute by her two makes, which gave the Lancers a 46 and 47 to 44 lead with 20.9 seconds left in the game.

She had 11 points, only bested on her team by sophomore Ehlaina Hartman, who had 12, and junior Sarae Ricke, who had 13.

Ricke had two 3's in the fourth quarter, and they were huge.

The Lancers entered the final frame down 38-33. Each team got a basket to start the fourth, which made the score 40-35 until Heskamp intercepted a pass near the center area of the 3-point line and took it all the way down the court for two, cutting the Bulldogs' lead to just 40-37.

Then Hartman and Ricke stepped in.

After an Ingalls timeout, Hartman got a two to fall, cutting the lead to just a single point at 40-39 with 3:21 left to play. Less than a minute later, Ricke hit a three to give the Lancers the lead wit 2:38 remaining. Exactly 42 seconds later, Ricke hit her second, giving the Lancers the 45-40 lead.

It was a gritty win for the Lady Lancers.

"We haven't always been the most mentally-tough team all year long, so it's nice to see that when things weren't exactly going well, that we decided we wanted to compete," Lancers head coach Andrew Kempke said.

The team also hit shots, like Ricke's which Kempke called "massive."

"I think both of 'em I was getting ready to say 'What are we doin?' and they go straight through," Kempke said. "And one of 'em she hesitated shooting it too, which is never good."

Spearville led 12-4 at the end of the first quarter, but in the second, Ingalls showed the exact fight which caused them to knock out South Gray earlier in the tournament and give Kiowa County a scare.

Spearville pushed their lead to 20-10 in the second quarter, but a 3 by Cure cut the lead to seven, while also igniting a 16-4 run which sent the Bulldogs into halftime with a 26-24 lead.

Cure led the way for Ingalls with a game-high 16 points.

In general, the Lancers stuck to their game plan, but that run was an exception, Kempke said.

"Once we got back to doing that (in the) fourth quarter we started playing pretty well again," Kempke said.

Ingalls coach Terra Simon said she thought her team played very well through the tournament.

"We kind of went through a rocky stretch the last few weeks," Simon said. "They just came out with more intensity than I've seen for a while. I'm hoping that this is just gonna kind of help get us some momentum and confidence going into postseason."

 

Box Scores:

Spearville - Brownlee 2, 0-0; Gleason 0, 0-0; Ricke 13, 0-1; Kolbeck 0, 0-0; Foos 0, 0-0; Heskamp 11, 2-3; Hartman 12, 2-4; Gleason 4, 0-0; Ede 5, 1-2

Ingalls - Simon 5, 0-0; Reist 0, 0-0; Minet 0, 0-0; Lightner 0, 0-0; Cure 16, 2-2; Beach 9, 3-4; Teichroeb 5, 3-6; Wall 0, 0-0; Ast 9, 3-3.

Spearville: 12, 12, 9, 14 -- 47

Ingalls: 4, 22, 12, 6 -- 44