Notre Dame's exciting finish

Kayla Croswell takes the ball to the basket during Notre Damen’s game with Masuk of Monroe on Tuesday night. (Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

Kayla Croswell takes the ball to the basket during Notre Damen’s game with Masuk of Monroe on Tuesday night.
(Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

Kayla Croswell made a great move in the lane and banked in a shot to put Notre Dame in front, 40-39 with 50 seconds on the clock in its South-West Conference game with Masuk High of Monroe at the Sister Marion Rielly Memorial Auditorium on Tuesday night.
Croswell jumped a pass for one of her six steals to give the ball back to the Lancers, and Briana Mann scored off a 40-foot inbounds pass from Raina Ceryak to boost the advantage to 41-38.
Inbounding the ball with nine seconds left, Masuk looked to the sharpshooting Schiebe, who was fouled launching a 3-pointer.
She made the first two with :03 showing, before the third refused to fall.
“We are a team right now of peaks and valleys,” Notre Dame coach Eric DeMarco said after his team improved to 4-5 and 3-2 in the SWC. “Teams have made us pay for that, especially a well-coached team like Masuk.”
The Panthers took a 27-17 lead into the third period, where the Lancers went on a 13-3 run behind outstanding team rebounding and the perimeter shooting of Alexandra Danas to close within three points with eight minutes remaining.
Danas’ 3-pointer at 5:20 of the final frame leveled the score at 33.
After Mann’s jumper, Danas hit another trey to give Notre Dame a 38-36 lead to set up the furious finish.
“This was tough,” said Masuk coach Ann Odoy after the loss dropped her squad’s overall record to 4-6. “In the first half, we were outstanding rebounding. In the second half, they (Notre Dame) picked up their intensity inside.”
Ceryak opened the game with a 3-pointer, Croswell tallied on a scoop shot and Nakia Mabin on a strong drive, but Schiebe scored seven point of her 18 points and was 4-for-4 from the foul line to stake the Panthers to an 11-7 lead after one period.
“That’s the thing with Masuk, if you slip up and are a little late, they will find the open player,” said DeMarco, who rotated 10-plus players into the contest.
Masuk opened the second period by scoring on four straight possessions and the 8-0 run extended its lead to 19-9 at the 5:30 mark.
Jana Migliaro was the spark, as the junior guard came in for Jamie Madden after the senior point guard picked up her second foul.
Notre Dame answered behind Mann (17 points), Precious Montgomery and Mabin.
The third quarter featured Notre Dame showing off its power game inside and quickness on the perimeter.
The Lancers overplayed every pass, making it difficult for Masuk to run its structured half-court offense.
Notre Dame held the Panthers without a field goal for four minutes and twenty seconds, before Migliaro made a pull-up jumper after Paige Santee stole an entry pass.
The silver lining for Masuk was its defense, which limited Notre Dame to six points over their scoreless stretch.
Mann powered inside for a hoop, Ceryak scored from the foul line and Mann again from the block.
After Masuk’s basket, Mabin scored on a run out and Mann fed Croswell (eight points) for a breakaway bucket.
Mabin, who had 10 rebounds, earned a jump ball and Mann rewarded her with a putback.
Mann’s free throw pulled the Lancers into a 30-30 tie with 45 seconds left in the third.
Schiebe’s ball fake got her to the baseline, where she buried a 10-footer, was fouled, and made the extra shot to give Masuk a 33-30 lead going into the fourth period.
“Tori has the heart of a champion and brought us back to be in a position to win,” Odoy said. “This was a good high-intensity basketball game.”
DeMarco said, “We did a nice job in the second half collapsing on the drive and collectively rebounding the basketball.
“This is a very balanced league, with teams jostling for playoff positions behind Lauralton Hall and Kolbe.”

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