The Sherrard girls' basketball team stayed perfect while Alleman struggled down the stretch again.|
The Tigers went on the road and downed the Pioneers 65-56 in comeback fashion, using an 11-2 run at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth to get the lead they needed at Don Morris Gym on Monday.For the second time in a week, Alleman led late in the third quarter, only to fall behind and not be able to catch up.
Riley Strandgard led the Tigers (7-0) by being the most aggressive player on the court, getting Sherrard into the game after playing passively in the first quarter.
Strandgard scored nine of her 17 points in the final three minutes of the first quarter, setting the tone for her teammates who followed right behind her. Both Carly Adams and Erin Barton scored 17 points as well, but all of them came after Strandgard had opened the door.
"We came out maybe a little intimidated, but we settled down and really played well the last three quarters," Sherrard coach Doug Swanson said. "The girls feed off Riley, and when they saw she wasn't intimidated, they felt more comfortable about being aggressive."
Against Moline on Thursday, Alleman went seven minutes without a basket to end the third and start the fourth, and it happened again on Monday. The Pioneers got just two baskets in nearly seven minutes of play as the Tigers went on a 19-5 run in that stretch.
"Their kids believed they were going to win tonight, and good teams do that," Alleman coach Jay Hatch said. "We hung in there, but we just didn't have enough.
"I'm never happy when we lose, but I'm encouraged by how we played. We're not far away."
The Pioneers tried to claw back, getting as close as five points with four minutes left, but never had the ball with a chance to get closer. Shelby Calderone and Strandgard put in buckets to get the game back to nine points.
"Our defense won us the game," said Strandgard, who had a game-high five steals and eight rebounds. "We played more as a team and more aggressive after the first quarter. If we weren't going to be strong, the game wasn't going to go our way."
Erin Morrisey continued to impress for the Pioneers as she scored a game-high 18 points. Maddie McGuire chipped in 12, and Anne Bohnert added 10 for Alleman.
The Pioneers got beat in rebounding 26-19; shot poorly from the foul line, 17-27; and had 21 turnovers. The Tigers, on the other hand, knocked down 10-of-16 free throws in the fourth and 17-of-23 for the game. That's quite the turnaround after shooting just 19-of-43 against Macomb last week.
The Pioneers will have to lick their wounds quickly with United Township coming to Don Morris Gym on Thursday for a Western Big 6 Conference game. Alleman will play three games over the next 10 days before having nearly a two-week break heading into the State Farm Holiday Classic after Christmas.
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