The Lady Bulldogs thrilled the crowd and their coaches with a 40-37 overtime victory against Groton on Monday, February 27. The win sends Milbank... Hoops They Did it Again! Lady Bulldogs Advance to SoDak 16 in OT

The Lady Bulldogs thrilled the crowd and their coaches with a 40-37 overtime victory against Groton on Monday, February 27. The win sends Milbank to the SoDak 16 at the Watertown Civic Arena on March 2. 

Brian Pauli, head coach for Milbank, said, “Probably one of the most roller-coaster emotional-type games I’ve ever been a part of! So happy for the girls. It was a team goal to get to the SoDak 16, and we accomplished it. “

Milbank was ahead 30-27 with four seconds left in the fourth quarter, when Groton buried a  3-point bomb to tie the game and send it into overtime.

In OT, Tyra Berry and Siera Wenzl gave Milbank an early 33-30 lead. Berry with a field goal and Wenzl with a free throw. The Lady Tigers answered with another 3-pointer to tie the game and then hit its twin to go ahead at 37-34. 

Just after the two-minute warning, Groton’s Kennedy Hansen, a sophomore, committed a technical foul. Isabella Anderson was elected to go to the line to shoot two. She drained them both. Because it was a technical foul, Milbank was also awarded possession. 

When Lady Bulldog Josie Riveland got the ball, she drew a foul. Her first free throw attempt was good and she tied the game at 37. Her second free throw attempt was also good, and she gave Milbank a 38-37 lead. With the clock ticking and only 36 seconds remaining, Groton went back to the well for another shot from beyond the arc. They missed!

Riveland recovered the rebound and again drew the foul. She couldn’t get her free shot to roll in, but Maurina Street snapped up the rebound and put it back up and in for a 40-37 Milbank lead and, ultimately, the victory! 

Street posted 12 points. Anderson and Berry each scored 10. Milbank’s defense was a game-changer from the first minute to the last seconds when they denied Groton the chance to take a final shot. Street hauled down nine rebounds – including six offensive. Snaza and Riveland each pulled down four rebounds. Riveland also added four points, and Snaza made two. Wenzl claimed three rebounds to go with her two points.

Overall, the Lady Bulldogs hit 43 percent of the field goal attempts. They downed 15 of their 23 free throws for 65 percent. 

The Lady Tigers finished with a 24.5 percent shooting average. They landed 10 of their 14 attempts from behind the stripe. Both teams made three of 20 from 3-point land for just 15 percent, but their timing was everything in this game.

What’s next? Milbank (14-7) is the No. 16 seed and faces undefeated Hamlin (21-0), the No. 1 seed, on Thursday, March 2. The game takes place at the Civic Arena in Watertown. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.

The winner qualifies for the 2023 South Dakota Class A Girls Basketball State Tournament scheduled for March 9-11.

Photos: Josie Riveland cuts down the net for the Lady Bulldogs – Head coach Brian Pauli calls in a play.-Tyra Berry brings the ball up the court.-Josie Riveland prepares to sink a crucial free throw in overtime. – Maurina Street goes up high to get two of her team high 12 points. – Claire Snaza looks to find an open teammate to pass the ball to.


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