Third time's the charm

Will Johnson
Sports Editor

UNION — Upsetting Sullivan Saturday afternoon in the opening round of the MSHSAA Class 4, District 10 Girls Basketball Tournament at Union High School, Ryan Flanagan’s Owensville Dutchgirls earned a third shot at St. Clair’s Lady Bulldogs in the second of two district semifinal contests Monday night.

Falling 63-58 in regular-season action and 63-41 at the Hermann Tournament during the month of January, OHS looked to prove the old adage true that it is hard to beat a team three times.

Taking a 26-25 lead at the 3:11 mark of the third quarter on a Breanna Diestelkamp basket, Owensville never trailed again going on to avenge those two losses with a 47-40 victory over the Lady Bulldogs.

“We’re making a pretty big name for ourselves as the underdog,” Flanagan said. “This is an awesome experience for our kids and great for our program.”

Seconds into the game, Owensville drew first blood when Liana Miller splashed home a 3-ball from what felt like Krakow giving the Dutchgirls an early 3-0 lead.

St. Clair’s Hannah Machelett quickly answered with a 3-pointer of her own tying the game at 3-3 with 7:28 for the opening quarter.

Buckets from OHS’ other two seniors in Ella Wright (5:55) and Diestelkamp (4:40) put the sixth-seeded Dutchgirls back in front 7-5 ahead of the second-seeded Lady Bulldogs.

Surrendering the next seven points, OHS came back with six points from Diestelkamp to go into the second quarter trailing St. Clair 15-13.

Trailing 19-15 with 6:38 until halftime, Owensville went into beast mode of defense holding the Lady Bulldogs scoreless the rest of the first half.

Three points each from Miller and Diestelkamp helped the underdog Dutchgirls go into halftime with a 21-19 lead.

Nearly recording a double double in the first half, Diestelkamp went into the locker room leading the Dutchgirls with 13 points and seven rebounds through two quarters of basketball.

Held scoreless during the first 3:40 of the third quarter, OHS dialed long distance to get on the board.

Diestelkamp canned a long 3-pointer putting the Dutchgirls back in front 24-22 with 4:20 left in the third period.

Tying the game :17 later on a Haley Buscher bucket at 24-24, an Erin York free throw put Owensville down a point 25-24 with 3:38 remaining for the third.

Seeing only :27 lapse, Diestelkamp’s third field goal of the third quarter gave the Dutchgirls a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the game.

Nursing a 29-27 lead in the closing seconds of the third quarter, Owensville had another chance to extend their lead going into the fourth quarter.

With .7 on the clock, Miller quickly took the in bounds pass scoring a bucket while getting fouled as time expired.

Hitting the ensuing free throw with no time left, the Dutchgirl senior helped OHS take a 32-27 lead over St. Clair with just eight minutes standing between them and a spot in the district title game Friday night.

Seeing their lead trimmed back to three at 32-29 with 7:40 left in the game, Diestelkamp answered with two free throws and a basket for a 36-29 Owensville lead at the 6:35 mark of the fourth quarter.

In the span of 95 seconds, St. Clair answered with four points cutting the Dutchgirls lead back to three at 36-33 with 5:00 left.

OHS’ next answer came in the form of three Kate Angell points stretching the Dutchgirl back to six at 39-33 with 4:37 showing on the clock.

Still leading 39-35 with 2:50 remaining, Diestelkamp sacrificed her body nearly a minute later.

Drawing a charge on Bursey with 1:43 left, that was the fifth foul on the Lady Bulldog sophomore sending her to the bench for the rest of the game.

Living from the free-throw line over the final 1:29, Dutchgirl freshman point guard Anna Finley hit on all six of her free-throw attempts helping Owensville to their second district upset in the span of three days.

Torching the nets for a game-high 26 points, Diestelkamp added 17 rebounds and four blocked shots to her impressive point total.

Miller just missed joining Diestelkamp in double digits scoring nine points.

To go along with her six points, Finley also pulled down seven rebounds.

In the other district semifinal matching up top-seeded Rolla and fifth-seeded Union, the host Lady Wildcats gave the Lady Bulldogs all they could handle and then some.

Leading Rolla throughout most of the first half, Union could not overcome a long stretch without a field goal before ending their season following a 38-29 loss.

Saturday afternoon against Sullivan in their district opener, Flanagan’s Dutchgirls led after every quarter and nearly not after the one that really counts.

Leading 30-22 going into the fourth quarter, Owensville eventually saw that lead disappear for a short period of time before a certain Dutchgirl senior was in the right place at the right time.

Getting a crucial steal in the closing seconds of the game, Wright turned it into a bucket in which she was also fouled tying the game at 38-38 with 26.7 ticks left.

Nailing the ensuing free throw, Wright helped the Dutchgirls hold off the third-seeded Sullivan Lady Eagles 39-38 avenging a 58-55 senior-night spoiling loss just three days earlier at Owensville.

Netting 13 points in the first half, Diestelkamp led the Dutchgirls with a game-high 17 points.

Finley nearly made it two OHS players in double figures scoring six of her eight points in the second half.

Miller was held to five third-quarter points while Anna Skornia chipped in four points.

In addition to Wright’s aforementioned three points, Stephani Elliott added a second-quarter bucket for two points.