The Elsberry Lady Indians had won two out of their previous three games going into Thursday night’s contest against the Winfield Lady Warriors.
Having taken second place in the Clopton Invitational Tournament less than a week earlier, not many people were expecting the Winfield game to be much of a hurdle, especially considering the fact that the Lady Indians had already beaten the Warriors twice this season.
There was something different about this game, however, and Elsberry barely managed to escape with a 58-52 victory.
“The win over Winfield is significant because it indicates that our team is maturing and learning to come from behind to win games,” said Lady Indians Head Coach Hector Bencomo.
The Lady Indians were led in scoring by Tanner Bencomo with 18, followed by Passion Hunter-Edwards with 11.
Unfortunately, Winfield managed to somehow hold everyone else under 10 points.
Kate Boedeker, Olivia Brown and Brittni Hagemeier each had seven, while Amanda Jo Talbot contributed eight.
“Tanner’s assignment was to deliver the ball to our post players, specifically Brittni Hagemeier,” said Coach Bencomo. “However, Brittni struggled the whole game until we moved her outside the three-point line where she hit two shots late in the game and changed the momentum. After that, it was just a matter of hitting our free throws.”
Winfield was led in scoring by Libby Marko with 20 points and Maria Tippit with 11.
The Lady Warriors outscored Elsberry 15-12 in the first period, but the Lady Indians came back to score 12 points in the second, allowing them to close out the half with a slim 24-22 lead.
That proved to not be enough cushion, however, as Winfield outscored Elsberry again in the third quarter 17-15.
Elsberry eventually regained momentum and pulled off the six-point victory.
“As a team we continue to grow and win games,” said Coach Bencomo. “All of our players stepped up and showed that they’re maturing. We’re learning to trust one another and to know our assignments. They’re fun to coach.”