Tanagers defeat Huskies 54-51 in thrilling OT

Tanagers defeat Huskies 54-51 in thrilling OT by Jim Prosser The Vermillion Tanagers defeated the arch-rival Elk Point-Jefferson Huskies 54-51 in an exciting overtime battle in girls' basketball Aug. 28 at home.

The score was tied 44-44 after regulation.

Ashley Bjorkman and Meggie Donnelly each scored 19 points and sank four 3-pointers. Bjorkman had seven rebounds and Donnelly had six assists.

"Bjorkman and Donnelly hit some big shots for us," said Vermillion varsity coach Lance Luitjens. "Meggie really turned up her performance from the Roosevelt game, which may have been the difference."

The Tanagers led 16-12 after the opening period, trailed 26-22 after the second quarter, and then trailed 28-27 going into the final period.

The Tanagers heated things up from three-point range, hitting 9 of 17 from long distance.

"We did what we had to do to win," said Luitjens. "We didn't take care of the ball well at all until crunch time. We didn't shoot free throws well until it really mattered, and we didn't execute plays well until I diagramed the last second shot. It's a good win, but we've got a lot of improvements to make."

With seven seconds left in the game, the Tanagers implemented a double screen for Bjorkman in the corner, then a second set of screens for Donnelly up top, allowing Donnelly to hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left in regulation to tie the game.

"The girls executed this last second play to perfection," Luitjens said. "Meggie got the open look and knocked it down for the tie."

Each team now has a record of 1-1.

The Vermillion varsity made 13 of 21 from the line. The Tanagers hit 16 of 32 field goals, while EP-J was 21 of 42 from the field. The Huskies hit 9 of 15 free throw tries.

Individual Stats, Vermillion varsity: Scoring � Meggie Donnelly, 19, Ashley Bjorkman, 19, Tessa Tuetken, 9, Carrie Engstrom, 4, Abby Moore, 2, Kayla Mollet, 1. Rebounds � Bjorkman, 7, Tuetken, 6. Assists � Donnelly, 6. Steals � Bjorkman, 4.

Individual Stats, EP-J: Scoring � Leslie Nebelsick, 12, Emily Kyte, 10, Mandy Rosenbaum, 10, Sarah Patnode, 10, Jessie Fennel, 7, Meghan Limoges, 2. Rebounds � Rosenbaum, 6, Patnode, 4. Assists � Kyte, 4. Steals � Nebelsick, 3.

Team rebounds: Vermillion varsity � 25, EP-J � 22. Team fouls: Vermillion varsity � 18, EP-J � 19.

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