WAVERLY, Neb. — Despite being in foul trouble much of the way, Waverly's Olivia Boender made it to the end of the game.
That was good news for the Vikings, who got a big play from the 6-foot-2 center in the final seconds to secure an overtime win over visiting Crete.
Boender, a Nebraska volleyball recruit, blocked a last-second shot by Kaitlin Bradley as Waverly posted the 45-43 victory. The win lifts the Vikings, ranked sixth in Class B, to 14-4 and drops 10th-ranked Crete to 11-9.
“It wasn't pretty but we'll take it,” Waverly coach Anthony Harms said. “It was a hard-fought game with two teams really going at it.”
Boender finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. She also had three blocks, including the one in the final seconds of overtime.
“I kept telling myself to go straight up,” she said. “I knew one more foul and that would be it for me.”
Boender, who scored a school-record 35 points earlier this season against Elkhorn South, picked up her fourth foul late in the third quarter. But she managed to avoid a fifth, scoring eight points in the fourth quarter.
That offense was needed because Crete, which trailed most of the game, was mounting its comeback. The Cardinals led 3-0 in the opening minute and didn't go ahead again until Alex Edwards sank a 3-pointer to put Crete on top 43-41 with 42 seconds left in regulation.
“That was a huge shot,” Crete coach Marcus Gillespie said. “But we couldn't quite hang on.”
It didn't look good for the Vikings when Ashley Davidson missed a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left and Edwards grabbed the rebound. Edwards was then fouled, but missed the front end of the 1-and-1.
That opened the door for Waverly senior guard Cierra Tjaden, who drove the baseline and sank the tying layup with eight seconds left. The Cardinals still had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but a short jumper by Tayler Doremus bounced off the rim at the buzzer, leading to the four-minute overtime.
Tjaden scored the only points in OT, sinking a pair of free throws. Crete turned the ball over twice and missed a pair of 3-pointers but still had a chance to tie when Bradley put up her final shot.
Boender got just enough of the ball to make the shot fall short. She then grabbed her 11th rebound to secure the victory.
“When Olivia was in foul trouble, I thought our other girls really stepped up,” Harms said. “And the fact she never fouled out was big for us.”
Bradley and Morgan Hill scored 13 each to pace the Cardinals.
Crete will play at Hastings on Tuesday night while Waverly will host Hastings on Thursday night.
Crete (11-9) .................. 6 12 15 10 0—43
At Waverly (14-4) ....................... 12 11 9 11 2—45
C: Alex Edwards 2-8 2-3 8, Clare Hollman 0-0 0-2 0, Kalie Uher 1-5 0-0 3, Tayler Doremus 1-5 4-4 6, Morgan Hill 5-10 3-6 13, Kaitlin Bradley 4-10 5-8 13.
W: Mikenzie Delgado 1-5 0-0 3, Ashley Davidson 0-4 0-1 0, Cierra Tjaden 5-16 6-6 17, Sam Hart 0-1 1-2 1, Brianna Boender 0-0 1-2 1, Nicki Larsen 0-1 1-2 1, Alisha Loveless 4-7 0-1 8, Olivia Boender 5-9 4-4 14.
3-point goals: C 3-12 (Edwards 2-8, Kalie Uher 1-4); W 2-21 (Delgado 1-3, Davidson 0-4, Tjaden 1-10, Hart 0-1, Larsen 0-1, Loveless 0-2). Rebounds: C 28 (Hill 9); W 33 (Boender 11). Total fouls: C 16; W 15. Fouled out: Hill. Turnovers: C 8; W 13. Field-goal percentage: C .342; W .358. Free-throw percentage: C .608; W .722.
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