Lady Pirates Win Epic NWC Contest

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Alivia Koenig at the line to win the game (by Amy Mortimer)

Alivia Koenig at the line to win the game (by Amy Mortimer)

(BLUFFTON) - For the current batch of Bluffton girls basketball seniors, each season has ended just shy of a Northwest Conference championship.  The girls took a huge step towards ending the drought with a thrilling 44-43 victory Thursday night over Spencerville.  Senior Alivia Koenig played the role of hero, making two free throws with 1.4 seconds left to win it for Bluffton.  Bluffton is now 11-3 and 5-0 in NWC play.  Spencerville fell to 11-3 and 4-1.  

Spencerville started strong, scoring the game’s first 8 points but Bluffton answered with a 17-2 run to take a 17-10 lead early in the second quarter.  Katie Prater poured in 9 first quarter points including two three pointers.  Koenig got rolling in the second quarter, connecting on two three pointers which were the final six points Bluffton scored of the quarter.  The Bearcats continued to go inside to 6'4" post player Alex Carter.  Libby Schaadt and Averey Rumer held Carter to just 4 points. The Pirates took 23-14 into the half.

Bluffton opened the second half on another '3' from Koenig and eventually built a 29-16 lead on a Brinkley Garmatter three pointer.  Averey Rumer routinely got into the lane and scored in the lane as Bluffton grew their lead to 34-23 after three quarters. 

In the fourth, Spencerville used a full court press to work their way back into the game.  After scoring 23 points over the first three quarters the visitors put up 20 in the fourth quarter alone and eventually took a 43-42 lead with less than a minute left. 

Buckets by Schaadt and Kayla White put Bluffton ahead 38-26 with 5:56 left. From there, the Bearcats went on a 15-2 run to take the lead with 1:10 to go.  Rumer responded with a spin move layup with :45 left.  Spencerville regained the lead with :22 left on a layup by Emma Leis. Averey Rumer was fouled and went to the line with :16 left.  Rumer missed the front end of the one and one opportunity with the Bearcats grabbing the rebound. Bluffton fouled Leis, the Bearcat leading scorer, and she missed the front end of the one and one opportunity as well.  Rumer grabbed the rebound and raced downcourt where timeout was called with 5 seconds left.  As the clock wound down, Koenig drove the baseline for a potential game winning shot and was fouled.  She sank the two free throws and a near capacity crowd exploded in cheers.  The Pirate faithful had packed out the gym including the Varsity cheerleaders and pep band and several students spilled onto the court.  

Game photos by Marvin Foster : https://www.usedcoffeebeans.com/Sports/Bluffton-Basketball-Boys/Girls-Basketball/2018-2019/190114-Spencerville/

Game photos by Amy Mortimer : https://amymortimer.smugmug.com/BHS-Girls-Basketball-vs-Spencerville/

Individual Pirate Scoring

Alivia Koenig - 13 points

Averey Rumer - 10 points

Katie Prater - 9 points

Libby Schaadt - 7 points

Brinkley Garmatter - 3 points

Kayla White - 2 points

What’s Next 

The Pirates travel to Pandora-Gilboa Saturday to take on the Rockets.  Bluffton’s next conference game will be another stiff test at Columbus Grove next Thursday.  

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