One thing you can count on when the Southwestern and Simpson JV women’s teams hook up is a dramatic finish.
On Friday night in Indianola, the Spartans held on for a 70-68 victory as the Storm missed a shot to tie it at the end of regulation.
Move ahead four nights, and the Spartans again came out on top, 71-70, in overtime Tuesday as T’Keyah Stapleton dribbled behind her back on a misdirection move and scored the winning layup with 1.6 seconds left in overtime. Simpson was unable to get off a shot before time expired.
“It was just like the game over there, back and forth with them having a chance for a shot at the end,” Southwestern coach Addae Houston said. “Simpson and Grand View have good varsity programs, and when you have that, it trickles down to their JV teams. I was proud of how our kids executed there at the end.”
A strategic switch by Houston when the Spartans were struggling in the second half seemed to spark a big comeback.
Southwestern trailed 42-32 at halftime and the deficit reached 17 points (49-32) early in the third quarter. The defensive intensity picked up just in time to ignite a 13-1 run to close it to 50-45 late in the period.
“We hit a three and I called a timeout,” Houston recalled. “In my mind the only thing that might get us back in the game was to go to fullcourt man-to-man and pressure them. We had not worked on it a lot, but I talked to them about taking calculated risks for traps in blind spots for the dribbler. We executed that ball pressure and it disrupted everything they wanted to do to get it to their post players.”
Turning it into a fast-paced guards’ game was important as Simpson had two physical centers inside, including 6-1 freshman Josie Clarke of Nodaway Valley. The Spartans were without 6-foot freshman Tina Lair van-Meter. Both van-Meter and Kierra Brice were withheld due to concussion protocol from games last week.
Late in regulation, Southwestern’s Vanessa Romo was fouled scrambling for a loose ball in the backcourt and made a free throw to tie it at 62-62. Simpson scored to go up 64-62 with a minute left.
Jasmine Aviles, giving up four inches inside against Simpson’s post players, scored a putback with 28 seconds left to knot it again at 64, and Romo stole the ball to give the Spartans a chance to win it at the end of regulation.
With just 2.4 seconds left, Aviles scored a 15-foot jump shot for a 66-64 Spartan lead.
After a Simpson timeout, Clarke set up in the lane isolated against the shorter Aviles. The inbounds pass went to Clarke and she moved across the lane for a lefthanded hook shot that swished through the net as the buzzer sounded.
The teams went to overtime tied 66-66.
“Defensively we had talked about dropping someone to help if they were isolated in the post, but I didn’t explain it well enough,” Houston said. “We did a much better job when they were in that situation again at the end of overtime.”
However, rather than coming to the bench deflated after seemingly having the game in hand with less than three seconds left, Houston was buoyed by what he saw in his team during the break before the overtime period.
“Credit to our girls in terms of their morale for the situation,” Houston said. “They came to the huddle and said ‘We’re alright. We got this.’ To be honest, when I heard that from them, that gave me confidence.”
The Spartans missed their first three shots in overtime, but allowed only two free throws in falling behind 68-66. Southwestern had the ball with 30 seconds left.
Fallyn Beemer, who had to rest an injured knee since the previous game, and had worked with trainer Kelsi Hines-Huseman, missed a 3-point shot, but Keaundra Washington grabbed the carom and quickly set up for her own triple. She drained it to give Southwestern a 69-68 lead with 14.3 seconds left.
Then Romo fouled out on contact with Simpson’s Maddie Glascock catching the inbounds pass. Houston vehemently objected to the call as Glascock drained both free throws to push Simpson in front, 70-69.
After the game, Houston said assistant coach Morgan Knorr was valuable in those moments.
“I give credit to my assistant coach,” Houston said. “When I was frustrated about that inbounds call, she said, ‘Coach, go tell them what to do.’ I got out of that funk with the officials and told the girls what we wanted to execute. Credit to them for making a play.”
Aviles started to set a screen at the top of the key for Stapleton. Stapleton made her move to the basket for the winning two points with less than two seconds remaining.
“She made a secondary move, got to the basket and finished,” Houston said. “Credit to the girls for making a play.”
Five Spartans scored in double figures, led by Beemer’s 16 points. Clarke scored eight points for Simpson.
UP NEXT — Southwestern (5-5) finishes the pre-holiday break schedule Thursday in a 6 p.m game at Grand View JV.
SWCC (71) — 20 12 17 17 5
SIMP (70) — 21 21 13 11 4
SOUTHWESTERN (71) — (FG FT PTS) Totals — 27 10-13 71. Fallyn Beemer 4 4-5 16, T’Keyah Stapleton 6 2-3 15, Keaundra Washington 4 2-2 14, Jasmine Aviles 6 1-1 13, Vanessa Romo 4 1-2 12, Chelsey Trautloff 2 0-0 5, Raeven Hayes 1 0-0 2. 3-point goals — 10 (Washington 4, Romo 3, Stapleton 1, Trautloff 1, Beemer 1). Team fouls — 18. Fouled out — Romo, Hayes.
SIMPSON JV (70) — (FG FT PTS) Totals — 24 14-25 70. Cassie Chubb 6 5-6 21, Jessie McElderry 5 3-4 15, Madison Reno 4 0-2 11, Josie Clarke 3 2-5 8, Kelli Hanson 3 0-0 6, Taylor Lawson 2 0-2 4, Maddie Glascock 0 3-4 3, Essance Porter 1 1-2 3. 3-point goals — 8 (Chubb 4, Reno 3, McElderry 1 Team fouls — 14. Fouled out — None.