Monarch girls win wild one in OT
By AUSTIN COLBERT
It was just a facade, but Thomas More Prep-Marian freshman Megan Koenigsman never looked nervous against Victoria High School on Friday.
Especially when TMP fell down by three in overtime and Koenigsman raced the length of the court for a layup, then drained a wide-open 3-pointer on the next possession to give the Monarchs the lead with about 90 seconds to play.
"I was so nervous. And I'm sure everyone was. I guess I just had a good shot," Koenigsman said. "It was a great moment. It just rose us up. We felt so great after that. We knew we could do it. It helped give us that extra push to the end."
Koenigsman finished with a career-high 25 points to lead TMP (2-4) past Victoria (4-2) in overtime 59-58 at Gross Memorial Coliseum, both teams' first game since the holiday break.
Koenigsman's 3-pointer wasn't the final dagger, however. Victoria's Kristin Huser responded with a 3-pointer of her own to give the Knights a one-point lead, and it was a pair of free throws by TMP's Kaylor Gottschalk with 22.7 seconds to play in overtime that made the difference.
Huser, a senior playing in her first game at GMC since committing to Fort Hays State University in the fall, led Victoria with 23 points. She was 10 for 10 from the foul line.
"My teammates ... all of them did such a great job guarding her," Koenigsman said. "We didn't really shut her down -- she still had 23 points -- but it was great playing against her. She was great competition and it makes us better."
Both teams struggled to score early in the game. Victoria led 9-4, but an 8-0 run by TMP spanning the first and second quarters led to a 21-15 halftime lead for the Monarchs.
The lead reached as many as eight points at 25-17 in the third quarter before a Victoria timeout got the Knights going.
"We only scored 15 in the first half but second half I called a timeout and said, 'I need you to play.' And they came out and did what I asked. We just fell short at the end," Victoria coach Anne Dinkel said. "I liked their intensity in the second half."
Victoria rallied to tie the game at 31 and after never trailed by more than four points. The Knights retook the lead at 42-41 with 1:47 to play and led again at 48-46 with 43 seconds to play after a Brooke Schmidt 3-pointer.
TMP tied it with 23.2 seconds to play when Koenigsman hit a spinning shot in the lane. The TMP defense forced a five-second call on Huser, but turned the ball back over to Victoria on the inbounds. Victoria was unable to get a clean shot off, sending the game to overtime.
Victoria led 55-52 before Koenigsman's layup and 3-pointer on back-to-back plays gave TMP the lead and Gottschalk's free throws would eventually give the Monarchs their second win of the season.
"I feel like the girls are playing with a lot more confidence. They are kind of figuring out what shots to take and which ones maybe to pass on," TMP coach Rose McFarland said. "I was so proud of the girls for not backing down after they caught back up. When they'd score, we would score, and it was just a fun and exciting game."