By Rob Potter
WEST POINT March 05, 2002 The Roscoe Lady Blue Devils captured their second Section IX Class D championship in three years Saturday afternoon at West Points Christl Arena.
Roscoe (19-3) held off a late run by John A. Coleman Catholic (16-6) to post a 35-26 victory.
With the win, the Lady Blue Devils earned a return trip to Christl Arena where they will face the Section 11 Class D champion at 5 p.m. today in the opening round of the state tournament.
Both teams seemed a bit nervous in the opening period of Saturdays final, as each squad missed several shots and turned the ball over a few times. At the end of those eight minutes, both the Lady Blue Devils and Lady Statesmen had put eight points on the scoreboard.
In the second quarter however, Roscoe outscored Coleman by an 11-2 margin. And in the third period, Roscoe scored only six points but Coleman did not register a single basket.
The Lady Statesmen, however, made up for it in the fourth quarter. After Roscoes Rose Miesner made a pair of free throws to give the Lady Blue Devils a seemingly comfortable 29-14 lead with 5:08 left in the game, the Coleman offense found its second wind.
In the next two minutes, Coleman went on a 10-1 run to cut the Roscoe lead to only six points. As soon as Colemans Corrine Albrecht scored inside to make it a 30-24 game, Roscoe Coach Becky Ahart called timeout to give her squad a chance to regroup.
For the next two minutes, neither team managed a basket. Then with 1:19 showing on the Christl Arena scoreboard, Miesner scored inside to boost the Lady Blue Devil advantage to eight, 32-24.
Although Albrecht made a pair of foul shots with exactly one minute left to make it a 32-26 game, Coleman could not draw any closer in those final 60 seconds.
It was getting exciting there, Becky Ahart said of Colemans fourth quarter comeback. But we were able to handle it since most of these girls have been here before.
Ahart noted that for some reason her team has had a little trouble with the third quarter this season.
Kelly Ahart, Roscoes senior point guard, offered an explanation for the Lady Blue Devils scoring lull in the third quarter and at the beginning of the fourth.
I think we got a little tired and our shots werent falling, she said. We couldnt get anything going offensively.
But the Lady Blue Devils were able to overcome that third period snag against Coleman.
Miesner, a junior center, led the way for Roscoe. She netted a game-high 15 points on the afternoon.
Rosie had a big game, Becky Ahart said. She played really well (defensively) against their big girl (Albrecht).
Coleman Head Coach Duane Postupack and Co-Coach Guy Leonard noted that the championship game experience was invaluable.
We might have lost the game, but it wasnt from a lack of trying, Postupack said. These girls played their hearts out today.
He added that by posting 16 wins on the season the 2001-2002 Lady Statesmen broke the school record for victories.
We have a nice team, but we had a bad third quarter today, Leonard said. It was a great experience to be here. Were not too disappointed. Sure, it would have been nice to win. But this was our first time here and it lays the foundation for future teams.
Becky Ahart concurred with the Coleman coaches.
Coleman did a nice job coming back in the fourth quarter, she said. Theyll be back (in future years).
When asked for a synopsis of her pre-game pep talk, Becky Ahart had a simple response.
I just told them to go out and have fun, she said. This is the big dance, so they should play the game and enjoy it.