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Cedarcrest girls win a hard-fought game with Interlake
There was something for everyone at the Thursday, Dec. 30, girls basketball game between Cedarcrest and Interlake—hardscrabble defense from both teams, an extra session, delays and officials who were very busy making calls. But the Red Wolves fought through all that and came out victorious.
Kendall Kramer’s pair of free throws with a little over 10 seconds left in overtime put Cedarcrest in front, and after a Saints turnover, Susan Kenney hit a pair of foul shots herself to close things out as the Red Wolves fought off Interlake 47-44. Kramer finished with 10 points, but those two free throws she hit under pressure were the most important. The sophomore felt nervous.
"It was probably the most intense situation I’ve been in through basketball my whole life,” Kramer said. But she got it done, even with members of the Saints’ boys basketball team doing their best to distract Kramer from the other end of the court.
For Kramer, hearing them only strengthened her resolve.
"That just made me want it that much more,” she said.
Cedarcrest coach Angela Jensen was pleased.
"Interlake’s a good team and we knew coming in that they were going to press us and they had some size and they played hard and that they were going to trap that rebound every time, so I tried to mentally prepare my girls for what to expect to see,” Jensen said. “I think the girls did a good job stepping up and taking the challenge.”
Courtney McKinney led the Red Wolves with 13 points, 10 of which were scored in the first half, which saw Cedarcrest rally from a early deficit in the second quarter to take the lead into halftime 25-23. After a third quarter which saw the two teams combine for just eight total points, the Red Wolves did their best in the fourth quarter to pull away, but the Saints kept it close, and with 31 seconds left in regulation, Emma Bergstrom tied the game at 38-38 with a basket, and after Cedarcrest missed on a potential game-winning shot opportunity, the game went to overtime.
The two teams exchanged the lead a couple times in the extra session, but with the game on the line, Kramer was fouled by Interlake’s Lauren Van Draanen, and the Red Wolves player proceeded to hit her foul shots. The Saints following that got the ball, but officials then called a “double dribble” on Interlake, giving the ball back to Cedarcrest, who then got the two Kenney free throws. The Saints mounted one last chance to force a second overtime, but their three-point attempt sailed well over the basket and that was that.
Jensen expects things to continue to get better for her team.
"I just think we’re going to improve as the year goes on and everyone's going to contribute and we’re going to keep playing hard,” she said.