The Class 1A-Region 4 second-round game Feb. 18 between Lone Tree and Holy Trinity Catholic played out like two teams who came into the contest with similar records.
Junior Madeline Jacque hit big go-ahead baskets down the stretch to help Lone Tree pull away from Holy Trinity in gaining a 59-52 home-court win that advanced the Lions to the region semifinals.
Down 48-47 late in the fourth quarter, Jacque’s first go-ahead jumper gave the Lions a 49-48 lead with 3:20 remaining. After the Crusaders regained the lead seconds later, another Jacque go-ahead basket put the Lions up 51-50 with 2:55 remaining. Lone Tree never trailed the rest of the game as they extended the lead and clinched the game with key free throws down the stretch.
“Maddie did a great job for us and really hit some big shots down the stretch,” said Lone Tree head coach Ryan Shelman. “Her teammates did a good job of sharing the ball and putting her in positions to be successful.”
Prior to needing to comeback down the stretch, Lone Tree led for the majority of the first half. A Maddie McCullough basket in the closing seconds of the first quarter gave the Lions a 13-10 lead.
Senior guard Holley Johnson helped extend the lead to 20-13 five minutes into the second quarter. She scored six of the team’s seven points in the stretch which included a 3-pointer and an offensive putback.
Holy Trinity countered with a 12-2 spurt to take a 25-22 lead late in the half. A Johnson 3-pointer tied the game at 25, but a Crusader basket in the final seconds gave them a 27-25 lead going into the locker room.
Lone Tree started the second half with four straight points to take a two-point lead, but an 8-0 Holy Trinity run gave them a 35-29 edge. A pair of Jacque 3-pointers helped cut the deficit to two at 42-40 and they would trail 44-40 going into the final quarter.
Lone Tree went inside early in the fourth quarter to stay right with the Crusaders. Forward Allison Marshek scored six of the first seven Lion points in the fourth quarter to start the back-and-forth final moments that led to Jacque’s big go-ahead baskets.
“We had a lot of girls step up for us in the big moments,” said Shelman. “I thought Allison Marshek had some huge offensive rebounds and putbacks for us down the stretch.
“I really liked our team’s energy in the game and our girls are really starting to have fun and playing well together.”
Jacque led all scorers with 22 points. Johnson tallied 16. Josie Mullinnix scored nine and Marshek scored eight.
The Lions tried to keep their momentum going Friday night on the road against Burlington Notre Dame in the region semifinals, but Burlington proved too tough and took a 69-49 win from the Lions to end Lone Tree’s season.