It wouldn't have been parents' night, it just plain wouldn't have been a Shorewood girls basketball game Friday night, if there hadn't been a little drama in it.
So that's why the Greyhounds built a 14-point lead against area rival Brown Deer, blew it, and then got it back just in time to pull off an exciting 54-46 Woodland Conference victory.
"We've been in a lot of games like this all season," said Greyhound coach Jeff Eimers. "Quite a few in fact. ...but hey, everyone had a good time tonight. Everybody got their money's worth (laughs)."
With the victory, the Greyhounds improved to 7-10 in Woodland Conference play and 11-10 overall while the feisty Falcons fell to 4-13 and 7-14 overall. Both teams will be at WIAA sectional seeding meetings on Saturday.
For Brown Deer coach Vinnie Murray, it was another good effort come up just a little short. The Falcons were again for the fourth game in a row without junior point guard Sabrina Wimmer, who is battling an ankle injury.
"She's our engine, she makes us go," he said, "but I'm still very proud of the kids. It's just that coming back from a deficit that large always takes a lot out of you, and I think in the end, we ran out of gas."
The Falcons, who were down 29-15 at the end of the first half, roared back into the game in the third period on the strength of an improved effort on the boards and by virtue of hitting six of their first seven shots from the field in the session.
Senior forward Jasalyn Lee fueled the effort, crashing the offensive boards, hitting shots from the wing and accounting for 10 of the Falcons' points in a 20-7 third session run that cut the deficit to 36-35.
"That Jasalyn Lee was just tough," said an admiring Eimers.
Another senior forward Allison Laurent had seven points in the third for Brown Deer, while the Greyhounds short-armed a lot of easy lay-ups and struggled from the foul line (four of 13 for the half after going seven for seven in the first 16 minutes).
Brown Deer scored the last nine points of the third.
After Greyhound junior forward Robbie Holland hit the first of her three, fourth quarter 3-pointers to expand the Shorewood lead to 39-35 at the 6:27 mark of the final session, Brown Deer went on an 8-2 run to take the lead not once, but twice.
Back-to-back baseline three-pointers from junior guard Imani Stingley and Laurent gave the Falcons a 41-39 advantage with 5:06 left. Then after a Shorewood hoop from freshman post Jada Stackhouse tied it, the Falcons went up again on a put back from Valerie Whiyee at the 4:17 mark.
But those would be the last points for 1:40 for the Falcons as Shorewood's Ashley Eimers made one of two free throws, and then Holland hit a baseline jumper to put the Greyhounds up at 44-42 at the 2:49 mark
Lee came back one more time for the Falcons, knocking down a a shot at the 2:37 point to tie it at 44-all.
But that's when Holland struck again, spotting up from her favorite point on the court, the right wing, and draining a cold-blooded three to make it 47-44 with 2:08 left.
The smallish, but very vocal Shorewood student section was in full, happy throat after that shot rippled through the nets.
Shorewood would never trail again, as the Falcons would not score again until there were just three seconds remaining.
Stackhouse got a critical insurance bucket in the post at the 1:19 mark. and then Holland finished things off with 51 seconds to go with yet another trey. She would score 12 of her game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter.
"She got hot at the right time for us," said Coach Eimers. "That last three was one of those 'no, no, no, yes, yes, yes' kind of jobs."
"There's a natural reaction after you fight back to take the lead like we did to have a bit of a letdown," said Murray. "Playing at that level for so long just takes a lot out of you."
The Falcons were led by Lee, who had 16 points, while Laurent had 12 and Laurent's sophomore sister Kendall had eight. Stackhouse helped out Shorewood with 19 points.
The win leaves some season goals intact for the Greyhounds, who had five underclassmen on the floor when the game ended.
"If we can beat Greenfield next Wednesday (in the regular season finale), then we'll have 12, which will match our best win total in a decade," said Coach Eimers, "and then if we could get to 13 (in the WIAA tourney) that would just be a huge milestone for these kids."
"What a game. I think our girls learned a lot from this and give Brown Deer a lot of credit, what a great comeback by them."
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