(Photo by David Lias)
By Parker Knox
For a team that suffered a 50-point loss in the season-opening game just two weeks ago, the Vermillion Tanager girls turned things around in a hurry.
After victories over Bon Homme last week and Madison on Monday and an overtime loss Tuesday at Tri-Valley, a place where hardly anybody expects to win a game, the youthful Tanagers are 2-2 and eagerly anticipating the rest of the season.
The Tanagers had shots at the end of regulation time to win it and shots in the final seconds of overtime to tie it but couldn't get them to fall, so Tri-Valley remained unbeaten at 5-0 with a narrow escape on its home court.
Vermillion led 6-0 on a pair of Josie Huber treys to open the game, and it took Tri-Valley till the halftime buzzer to tie the game at 20-20. Huber had nine first-half points and Courtney Johnson six to keep the Tanagers on top.
In the third quarter Tri-Valley's superior height began to wear VHS down at both ends of the court. The Mustangs went from a 24-22 deficit to a 31-24 lead at the end of the third period.
Trailing by eight a minute into the final quarter, the Tanagers used free-throw shooting to stage a 7-0 run of their own to give themselves a chance. A Johnson putback even put Vermillion ahead by one at 36-35. Huber scored with a half-minute left for a 40-38 lead, but Tri-Valley was able to force O.T.
The Tanagers were quickly down by five early in the extra stanza. Mackenzie Huber scored a field goal and two of four free-throw opportunities in the final minute, but two attempts at tying the game failed.
Josie Huber finished with 14 points, Johnson 12 and Mackenzie Huber 11.
Against Madison Josie Huber gave Vermillion a quick 5-0 lead, and the Tanagers never trailed, leading 14-6, 23-15 and 32-21 at the quarter breaks en route to a 47-32 victory even though Blair Gilkyson and Allison Heine were sidelined due to injuries.
Coach Nick Mayer got scoring from seven sources as his team shot 38 percent from the field and 63 percent at the stripe. Josie Huber had 10 points as well as 11 rebounds and five steals. Johnson contributed 10 points, Mackenzie Huber nine points and four assists, Sydney Peters seven points and four assists and Brooke Schwasinger seven points. Tori Gregoire and Shantel French each added two points.
Josie Huber scored 17 points and had five more steals as the Tanagers defeated Bon Homme 36-25 after leading at halftime by only 13-12. Schwasinger contributed five assists.
The girls will join the boys for a doubleheader at Tea Area next Friday, Dec. 28, before returning for a home game Jan. 3 against Sioux Falls Christian.