HUMPHREY, Neb. — Class D-1 No. 4 Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family seemed to have all the momentum when it outscored Class C-2 No. 4 Stanton 19-4 in the third quarter to lead by nine going into the fourth quarter.
The visiting Mustangs took the momentum right back.
Bree Burtwistle hit jumpers on three-straight possessions, and Stanton fended off Humphrey/LHF in the waning seconds for a 48-45 victory in a battle of East Husker Conference undefeated teams.
“It's probably our most important game so far this season,” Burtwistle said. “It was a really big win.”
Stanton trailed after the 3:26 mark of the third quarter until Burtwistle's mid-range jumper in the paint tied it at 42 with 2 minutes, 30 seconds. Allanah Beller answered with a fourth-chance bucket for Humphrey/LHF less than half a minute later, but Jessie Brandl, who had a game-high 16 points, made the extra pass to Burtwistle again with 1:50 left to tie it again at 44.
On the next possession, Brandl found Burtwistle again, but it was Burtwistle who made the extra pass, dishing to an open Hannah Heppner near the block for a jumper with 47 seconds left. Brandl would add two free throws with 18.4 seconds left.
Taya Beller missed two free throws with 8.0 seconds remaining for Humphrey/LHF, but Brittney Veik was fouled with 2.2 seconds left. She made the first, and coach Kandee Hanzel called a timeout to set up a last-chance play.
Veik missed the next free throw, but Stanton was awarded possession after the ball went out of bounds with 0.2 seconds left. Taya Beller, who gave Stanton problems all night with nine points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots, blocked the Stanton inbounds pass, but the buzzer sounded to end the game.
“They're a great ball team,” Stanton coach Greg Wegner said. “They really are truly great. We knew it was going to be a battle. We knew the (Taya) Beller girl was going to dominate down low like she did.”
It was a minor miracle that Stanton was able to come back after the way it started the second half. The Mustangs hit 1 of 14 field goals in the third quarter, a 3-pointer by Jaiden Hartl, and were shut out for almost 5-1/2 minutes after that. It was more than enough time for the Bulldogs to score a 16-1 run over the final 5:34 of the quarter, turning a 28-22 deficit into a 38-29 advantage.
“We had some good stops there in the third quarter that I thought were huge, and they were right in a row, and then we got four or five steals, and then we finished, and we got a 3, and pretty soon, I looked, and we were up nine,” Hanzel said.
Stanton finished the night 19 of 54 (35.2 percent) from the field, while Humphrey/LHF made 18 of 47 (38.3 percent).
Stanton................15 10 4 19—48
Humphrey/LHF........9 10 19 7—45
STANTON (7-0): Tenna Beel 0-0 0-0 0; Jaiden Hartl 4-12 1-2 10; Bree Burtwistle 5-13 1-2 11; Jessie Brandl 5-11 2-2 16; Hannah Heppner 5-14 1-7 11; Liz Christensen 0-3 0-0 0; Allie Spence 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-54 5-13 48.
HUMPHREY/LINDSAY HOLY FAMILY (7-1): Brittney Veik 5-17 3-6 13; Allanah Beller 2-6 0-0 4; Brooklyn Magsamen 1-1 0-0 2; Allie Schneider 3-8 2-2 10; Danie Brandl 0-1 0-0 0; Taya Beller 4-10 1-3 9; Anita Reardon 3-4 0-0 6. Totals 18-47 6-11 45.