OREGON — Only 9.4 seconds remained in the second half of a deadlocked game.
In the huddle, DeForest girls basketball coach Jerry Schwenn designed a play he hoped would give his team the lead in Friday night’s WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal against Oregon.
Schwenn wanted the inbounds pass, coming from the right sideline three-quarters of the court from the basket, to go to 5-foot-10 senior forward Aleah Grundahl and she would start the action.
Grundahl grabbed the pass in the front court, turned up the court and passed left to Sam Schaeffer. The 5-8 junior guard said she had two options: Take the ball hard to the basket down the left side of the lane or pass into the left corner to junior guard Maggie Trautsch.
Electing the first option, the right-handed Schaeffer made a strong left-handed move and scored on the drive with about 1.8 seconds remaining. Her basket — she called it the biggest of her prep career — gave the fifth-seeded Norskies a 48-46 victory over the host and fourth-seeded Panthers.
“I drove that way (toward Trautsch) and if her defender helped more, I would have kicked it out,” said Schaeffer, who had seven points. “But she didn’t, so I just took the shot. I had my girl beat, so I just went up and it looked good.”
Said Schwenn: “We did want to have Sam create off the edge and she made a great decision. Maggie was an option, as well. Sam did a nice job getting the ball to the basket. … I thought she had a clean look to the hoop. We have confidence in Sam taking that shot and I know she had confidence in herself. In the playoffs, players make plays and she’s been a good player for us all year long.”
DeForest (16-7) advances to play at top-seeded and third-ranked Monona Grove in a regional final today, while the season abruptly ended for Oregon (14-9).
“That’s a tough shot going to her left,” Oregon coach Adam Wamsley said of Schaeffer’s winning shot. “Scouting her, we thought she went more right. So throwing that shot up and using the glass is a tough shot.”
You have free articles remaining.
Grundahl led DeForest with 12 points, while 5-11 junior forward Megan Mickelson had 10 points. Oregon junior Kaitlyn Schrimpf scored a game-high 14 points.
In addition to the final scoring play, Grundahl had an assist to Schaeffer on a backdoor play during DeForest’s 6-0 run that turned a 43-40 deficit into a 46-43 lead. After Schaeffer’s basket with 3 minutes, 50 seconds left, Trautsch scored on another backdoor play that gave the Norskies a 46-43 lead with 2:51 left.
“I’d rather be assisting than scoring,” said Grundahl, Schwenn’s niece who plans to play basketball at UW-Whitewater. “Our team is pretty young this year. I look to pass to the younger players so that when (senior Bryn Smith and Grundahl) are gone, we know they will be in good hands.”
Oregon junior Izzie Peterson connected on a 3-pointer — one of eight Oregon made — and tied the game at 46 with 1:51 left. The Panthers regained possession with 1:04 remaining but turned the ball over with 9.4 seconds left after working for the final shot.
“I had players in who I was confident could handle that pressure,” Wamsley said. “With that pressure they were putting on, the play we had designed was probably going to work pretty well. We were going to catch them with a back screen. But, unfortunately, we turned it over there.”
DeForest 20 28 — 48
Oregon 21 25 — 46
DEFOREST — Roth 3 0-0 6, Laufenberg 0 0-0 0, Compe 0 0-0 0, Trautsch 3 0-0 8, Smith 0 0-0 0, Schaeffer 3 0-0 7, Tschumper 0 3-4 3, Mickelson 5 0-0 10, Grundahl 5 2-3 12, Hahn 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 5-7 48.
OREGON — Peterson 1 0-0 3, Eisele 1 0-0 3, J. Statz 4 0-0 9, C. Roberts 1 0-0 3, Spilde 1 0-0 2, Schrimpf 5 2-4 14, Kane 1 0-1 2, Uhl 3 1-2 9, S. Roberts 0 1-2 1. Totals 17 4-9 46.
3-point goals — D 3 (Trautsch 2, Schaeffer 1); O 8 (Schrimpf 2, Uhl 2, Peterson 1, Eisele 1, J. Statz 1, C. Roberts 1). Total fouls — D 11; O 12.