NEW MADISON – The Versailles girls basketball team came away with a hard-fought 51-46 overtime win over Chaminade Julienne in the first game of the Patriots Bill Burkett Holiday Tournament.
Many of the Tigers have only been playing basketball for a few days after winning a state volleyball championship, plus add the fact they were missing Elizabeth Ording due to sickness.
Despite not having seaworthy legs for basketball or a refined shooting touch, the one thing Versailles did was play hard and physical, it was a formula that eventually helped them pull away in the end to get the win.
Chaminade went up early in the game 8-2 before the Tigers clawed back behind two buckets inside from Brooke Stonebraker and a fielder from Lindsey Winner to tie it at 8.
Jordyn Varise scored 7 points including a triple to break the tie and put the Eagles in front 11-8 to end the first period.
Chaminade extended its lead to 17-10 on triples from Staci Greene and Courtney Redd prompting a Versailles timeout at 3:43.
The Tigers tightened up their defense with full court pressure on the ball and contested every shot shutting out the Eagles the rest of the second quarter.
Offensively, Caitlin McEldowney found the range scoring 8 points, including a trey with 20 seconds to put Versailles on top 18-17 at the break.
“Our shooting wasn’t on in the first half and with just a couple days of practice and I expected that, but I thought we rebounded the ball well,” Versailles girls basketball coach Jacki Stonebraker said.
The Tigers came out in the second half displaying a little more patience executing and attacking the zone. They found Lindsey Winner in the middle where she scored 6 points that helped soften the perimeter.
McEldowney and Danielle Kunk both drained 3’s after that and Versailles held a one-point lead 30-29 at the end of the third quarter.
“We didn’t have a lot of time to put sets into our offense with just a few days of practice, so we put in a couple of plays for the zone at the half and adjusted well using 3 or 4 plays as we went along, so that was good,” Stonebraker stated.
Kelsey Custenborder’s triple early in the fourth stanza put Versailles up 33-29 and she scored all 8 of her game points in the period including a bucket at the rim to go up 35-31. But the Eagles regained the lead 36-35 to put pressure back on the Tigers.
Senior Savannah Turner, who got the start with Liz Ording out sick, tied the game at 39 with a stick-back and then Custenborder put Versailles back up 41-39, but Chaminade knotted it again at 41 with 50 seconds to play.
Versailles pulled the ball electing to play for the last shot, but after running off 30 seconds they turned the ball over giving the Eagles a chance, but they came up short and the game went to overtime.
In overtime Versailles went 6-for-7 from the free throw line with Toner going a perfect 6-of-6 that would be the difference maker down the stretch as the Tigers pulled away for the 51-46 win.
“It was good to see Savannah step up to the line and shoot it with confidence and put them away,” Stonebraker said.
“She is a battler an undersized post player who is physical and can get away with a little more than a taller, bigger post player. Nobody wants to play her in practice and I don’t think the opposing team’s players liked being guarded by her either, she did a nice job stepping in tonight for Liz Ording,” praised Stonebraker.
“All in all, it’s a win, and to see the girls come out and have the will to win was good to see,” Stonebraker commented.
“It’s always good to start off with a win, but wins and losses don’t mean a whole lot right now it’s about improvement and learning as we go through the season,” Stonebraker concluded.
Winner led the way for Versailles with 14 points, McEldowney had 12 and Toner and Custenborder added 8 each.
Score by Quarters:
Versailles: McEldowney 12, Kunk 5, Toner 8, Peters 14, Custenborder 8, Stonebraker 4. Totals: 5-12-12/18 – 51
Chaminade: Redd 7, Varise 13, Greene 16, Monaghan 10. Totals: 7-11-3/7 – 46
Three Pointers: Versailles 5 (McEldowney 3, Kunk 1, Custenborder 1); Chaminade 7 (Greene 4, Redd 2, Varise 1)