The girls basketball game between No. 2-ranked White River and No. 4-ranked Black Hills looked as though it could be a thriller on paper Saturday night.
It took 3 1/2 quarters for the game to reach that status, but it eventually happened late in the fourth quarter in Buckley. A rally by Black Hills forced overtime, where the Hornets would go on to win 74-69 to stay undefeated this season.
“Give them credit, they’re a really good basketball team,” White River head coach Chris Gibson said. “They had us on the ropes. …We didn’t panic, but it wasn’t looking good there for a while. I was really proud of my kids. We showed some good composure, and that’s a real good team. That’s the kind of contest that I think benefits both teams as we look forward to later on and playoff time.
The Hornets (6-0) led by as many as 11 points and never trailed in the first three quarters, but the Wolves (4-1) made a furious rally in the fourth to get back in the game.
Trailing 57-48 with 4 minutes, 17 seconds to play, Black Hills went on an 11-2 run to tie the game at 59-59. Just when it seemed the Wolves had all the momentum, White River senior forward Kendall Bird scored and was fouled with 1:49 to play. Bird hit the free throw to give her team a 62-59 lead.
Bird finished with a game-high 30 points.
“Teams spend a lot of times trying to stop Kendall,” Gibson said. “I think she got off to a great start, but then she got into a little bit of foul trouble, so we weathered that a little bit for the first time this year. She works hard. She’s an amazing player, but her teammates do a nice job of setting her up and getting her the ball where she wants it.”
Sophomore Maisy Williams scored off an assist from senior Emma Duff with 1:38 to go to answer Bird’s three-point play, and senior Rachel LaBelle gave the Wolves their first lead of the night with a steal and a layup with 1:06 remaining.
It appeared the Wolves would pull off the comeback, but White River junior Georgia Lavinder’s baseline 3-pointer with six seconds to play tied the game at 65-65 and sent it to overtime.
Lavinder finished the game with four 3-pointers and 13 points.
“(Georgia) can shoot the three,” Gibson said. “She’s the kind of kid that she has the same look on her face all the time. She’s pretty cool out. In a situation like that, she stepped up and hit the shot.”
In overtime, two unlikely heroes saved the game for White River. Junior Sofia Lavinder, Georgia’s sister, hit two of her three 3-pointers in overtime, and senior Lucy Rasmussen’s baseline jumper with 53 seconds left all but sealed the victory.
“That was a big shot by (Lucy),” Gibson said of Rasmussen, who made her only two shot attempts of the game. “She’s been working on her shot. She just grabbed it and shot it. She was wide open, and she had the faith to take it. That was a big step for her.”
Black Hills 10 18 14 23 4 - 69
White River 15 23 12 15 9 - 74
Black Hills: Maisy Williams 12, Rachel LaBelle 10, Taylor Patti 3, Megan River 7, Emma Duff 19, Lindsey Nurmi 10, Kayley Maloney 8.
White River: Chloe Narolski 3, LeeAudrey Norris 9, JaneAllyn Norris 6, Lucy Rasmussen 4, Georgia Lavinder 13, Kendall Bird 30, Sofia Lavinder 9.