BARABOO — Even after witnessing her team endure perhaps its shakiest moment to date in the current girls basketball season, Samantha Terry’s belief in her Baraboo teammates remained undaunted.
The UW-Green Bay recruit found herself overcome with emotion on Saturday night after the host Thunderbirds nearly coughed up a 18-point fourth-quarter lead to defending Northern Badger Conference champion Waunakee before hanging on for a 58-55 win to stay unbeaten.
“I have so much faith in this team that we can get where we want to go,” said a teary-eyed Terry, who finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds but accounted for eight of her team’s 25 turnovers — nine of which came in the final period. “This is the closest team I’ve ever been on, and it’s great. We all get along so well, and we have so much fun together.”
Ranked third in WIAA Division 2, Baraboo grabbed control when Terry banked home a deep 3-pointer just before time expired in the first quarter to start an 18-7 run and take a 34-18 advantage into intermission.
“In the first half, we missed so many layups,” Waunakee coach Brad Lussier said. “Just left points out there and the tough thing is when we leave points out there, we don’t get set up in our press.”
The Warriors’ full-court pressure started to make an impact, though, midway through the fourth quarter. Senior guard Sam Murray led the effort, coming up with a pair of steals and scoring 12 of her 22 points during a 13-2 spurt to pull the Warriors within 57-55 with 21.6 seconds to play.
“We play on the same AAU team, so that doesn’t surprise me at all — with her driving to the lane and finishing,” Terry said of Murray. “She made the baskets when they counted and brought her team back.”
But after Baraboo’s Emily Brinker went 1-for-2 from the free throw line, Murray couldn’t quite finish the comeback when she missed a contested 3-pointer with 1 second remaining.
“We made a lot of mistakes with the basketball, and I think a lot of that has to do with fatigue,” said Baraboo coach Dave Crane, whose team swept Waunakee in the regular season for the first time in his nine-year tenure. “Really fatigued. They pressure you up to that point where you gotta have kids who want to step up and handle the basketball.”
Mount Horeb 50, Sauk Prairie 43
Sophomore Serena Pretti scored 18 points and the host Vikings rallied to defeat the Eagles.