GAS CITY — Whitko’s girls basketball team battled back from a 34-14 third-quarter deficit to come within four points of a win Friday night in the semi-final sectional game at Mississinewa against Bellmont.
After a 26-13 advantage at halftime, the Squaws scored six points to the Lady ’Cats’ one, giving Whitko a 20-point deficit with just over three minutes left in the third quarter.
The Lady ’Cats went on a 24-8 run that began after Jordan Hall drew an offensive foul against the Squaws. Juillerat struck again and Senior Karissa Olinske knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 11. Sylvester finished off the quarter with a shot with 5.2 seconds left to make the score 39-25 with eight minutes left in the game.
The Lady ’Cats outscored Bellmont 20-12 in the final stanza.
Josie Sparks stepped up in the fourth quarter to score the opening points with a pair of free throws. Junior Cagney Craig scored and Olinske knocked down another 3-pointer, making the score 39-30 with six minutes to go. Juillerat connected with four free throws in a row to cut the deficit to six.
Bellmont scored its first field goal of the fourth quarter around the five-minute mark. Sparks got two steals in a row, which turned into four Lady Wildcat points, making the score 44-40 with two minutes left.
But Bellmont’s Taylor Kuhnle, who led the Squaws in scoring, answered with a traditional three-point play.
With 1:46 left, Sylvester got two steals in a row to score five points (two field goals, one free throw), making the score 47-45 with1:30 to play. Bellmont played keep-away for the final minute, forcing Whitko to foul and after connecting with 5-of-6 free throws, the Squaws came out with the 51-45 win.
Olinske led the Lady ’Cats in scoring with 15 points. The senior was just 13 points away from breaking Whitko’s girl’s all-time scoring record, according to Bradley. Fellow senior Sylvester had 11 points, Juillerat collected 10 and Craig tallied four. Cassie Jones had three points and Josie Sparks had a field goal in the final quarter for two points.
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