Vermillion secured its first girls basketball victory of the season last week, taking a 21-18 halftime lead at Tri-Valley and staying the course for a 40-35 win.
Valerie Robinson's 13 points led the Tanager offense. Kelly Amundson contributed 10 points and nine rebounds. Blair Gilkyson also had nine rebounds.
The Tanagers almost had their second straight win Tuesday night, leading for the entire game until Tea Area took its first and only lead of the game with 20 seconds remaining on a game-winning basket by Haleigh Gunn. Trailing 37-36, the Tanagers in-bounded the ball with 11 seconds left, but the Titans forced a tie ball with :03.6 remaining. The possession arrow favored Vermillion, so the Tanagers got yet another shot from the corner. That missed as did an under-the-basket rebound attempt at the buzzer.
Vermillion led 3-0 after a quarter, and Tea Area did not score a point until the 6:12 mark of the second period. It was 16-10 for the Tanagers at halftime. During the third period the lead varied from six to two points.
In the final stanza a three-pointer by Lexi Regnerus at the 3:07 mark seemed to put the Tanagers in good shape with a six-point lead, a rather huge comfort margin in this sort of game when neither team was shooting well and turnovers were countless. But four straight points on free throws brought Tea Area to within 34-32, then Lindsey Montileaux scored with 2:00 left for the first tie of the game.
Claire Jones sank a pair of gutsy free throws with 1:30 to play, but Tea Area got one of those points back a few seconds later. Vermillion missed a free throw with 46 seconds left that would have created a two-point margin. That set the stage for the game-winner from Gunn.
Kelly Amundson had a team-high nine points for VHS, followed by Morgan Erickson's eight and seven from Regnerus. Jones had four while Bailey Carlson, Val Robinson, Sami Girard and MacKenzie Huber had two points apiece. Gunn led Tea Area with 13 points.
Coach Nick Mayer's Tanagers will be home twice next week � Tuesday against Sioux City East and Jan. 7 in a girls-boys doubleheader against Parkston.