Coach Renzema wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when his Lady Tiger squad took the floor in the 3rd place game on Saturday at the ACCA Nationals in Joplin, Missouri. The team had played hard-fought games the two days prior and the girls were obviously a bit tired, plus they were playing the #3 seeded Saints from Central Bible who were playing some pretty good basketball at the time. The girls from Grace answered the question quickly as Stephanie Miller started the game with another hot shooting rampage from the 3-point line and got the Tigers out to an early lead. The two teams played evenly throughout the game with largest lead belonging to Grace to start the game at 7-0. Neither team had a larger lead than four points the rest of the way.
It appeared that Naomi Walker was going to be the hero for the Lady Tigers as she calmly sank both ends of a one and one to give the team a 56-55 lead with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation. The Tigers had a couple of fouls to give and were able to use them to give Central one last possession out of bounds with seven seconds left on the clock. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Central was able to find an open player under the basket for the game winner as time expired.
“We played extremely hard and I am very proud of the entire team,” Coach Renzema said after the game. “We did a lot of good things in this tournament and showed we can play with some of the best teams in the division. We just came up a little bit short the last two days.”
“I am very proud of Naomi Walker and how she was able to come up with the clutch free throws at the end. She showed a lot of courage and heart and came through when we needed her most. I am going to miss all three of the seniors. They have put a lot of time and effort into the Grace program and I will always be grateful to them for that.”
Jessica Sikorski led the way with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Stephanie Miller added 14 points, including four three-pointers. Marissa Pelletier had eight points and 10 rebounds. Kerie Rudd added six points and six assists and Naomi Walker chipped in with six points, including the two pressure free throws.