Trailing by 13 points late in the third quarter, the situation appeared bleak for Lincoln Southwest.
But the sixth-ranked Silver Hawks came roaring back in the fourth quarter Saturday night to post a 57-51 win over eighth-ranked Omaha Benson. The girls basketball victory lifts Southwest to 18-4 and gives the team an important bump in the wild-card standings that determine district seeding.
“The kids really battled back,” Silver Hawks coach Lis Brenden said. “We talked about not panicking and how good things could still happen.”
Southwest trailed 44-31 but scored the final points of the third quarter on two free throws by Abby Meader and a layup off a steal by Creighton recruit Lauren Works. That play by Works, which came just before the end of the period, helped fire up Southwest even more heading into the fourth quarter.
“When we were down 13, I was a little stressed,” Works said. “But I think everybody was excited going into that fourth quarter.”
The visiting Silver Hawks scored the first nine points of the final period to tie the game. McKenna Dodd scored five points during that run while Works and Marysa Wilkinson had two each.
Just as important, Benson center Kianni Ibis picked up her fourth foul during that stretch and headed for the bench. The 6-foot sophomore entered the game second in Class A in scoring, averaging 20 points a game.
The Bunnies managed to stay close until Ibis returned and took their final lead at 49-48 on a layup by Montrese Weller with 2:55 left. Southwest outscored Benson 9-2 the rest of the way to secure the win.
“They put pressure on us that fourth quarter and we struggled,” Bunnies coach Jon Perone said. “We just couldn’t do enough to survive their late run.”
The Silver Hawks outscored Benson 22-7 in the fourth quarter with the help of nine Bunnies turnovers. Southwest sank 13 of 18 free throws in the final eight minutes to post a crucial win that came one night after a disappointing 68-55 road loss against unranked Kearney.
“We couldn’t buy a basket against Kearney,” Brenden said. “But I give credit to the girls for the effort they gave tonight.”
Works finished with a game-high 21 points while Dodd finished with 13 and Meader 11. The Silver Hawks were 16 of 37 from the field (43 percent) and 20 of 27 from the free-throw line (74 percent).
Junior forward Montrese Weller led Benson with 18 points, including four 3-pointers. Ibis finished with 14 points — all in the first half — and 12 rebounds.
“She (Ibis) is a phenomenal player,” Brenden said. “When she had to go out with foul trouble, they became a little easier to defend.”
The Bunnies return to action Tuesday night against visiting Omaha Marian before playing at Omaha Northwest next Saturday night to finish the regular season. The Silver Hawks end the regular season at home Saturday night against North Platte.
Lincoln Southwest (18-4).......................7 15 13 22—57
At Omaha Benson (13-6)......................15 10 19 7—51
LSW: Baleigh Miller 0-2 0-0 0, Brooke Knapp 1-4 0-0 3, McKenna Dodd 3-9 6-8 13, Lauren Works 5-10 8-11 21, Jordyn Keeney 1-1 1-1 3, Abby Meader 3-3 5-7 11, Marysa Wilkinson 3-8 0-0 6.
OB: Tashiana Coffiel-Nelson 0-1 0-0 0, Kylee Askew 1-2 0-0 3, Kanesha Plater 2-6 0-0 5, Moneeka Robinson 1-4 1-2 3, Arbrieal Benson 2-6 0-2 6, Octavia McGraw 1-1 0-0 2, Kianna Ibis 6-15 2-3 14, Montrese Weller 6-16 2-2 18.
3-point goals: LSW 5-17 (Miller 0-2, Knapp 1-2, Dodd 1-5, Works 3-8); OB 8-19 (Askew 1-2, Plater 1-2, Benson 2-4, Weller 4-11). Rebounds: LSW 28 (Works 6); OB 32 (Ibis 12). Total fouls: LSW 12; OB 22. Fouled out: Plater, McGraw. Turnovers: LSW 14; OB 18. Field-goal percentage: LSW .432; OB .372. Free-throw percentage: LSW .740; OB .555.
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