Notre Dame comes through in the end, beats scrappy O-A
The game might have been tight all the way through, but it looked like the Oakfield-Alabama girls were going to beat Notre Dame for the second time this season, on ND's home court.
The Hornets owned the paint and seemed to be in the right place at the right time for every loose ball. But the Fighting Irish battled in the closing minutes and came through with a huge 48-46 win.
Oakfield-Alabama took a 3-point lead with about five minutes left in the game when Hillary Bates scored a basket, making the score 40-37 in O-A's favor.
Notre Dame's Brittany Morelli answered with a bucket, but the lead was back to 3-points when Dani Sage scored at the other end. The Hornets had a chance to extend the lead when sophomore McKenzie Harris had a steal and was fouled going to the basket.
Unfortunately for the Hornets, she missed both free throw attempts.
Nichole Hart then made it a 1-point game with a basket seconds later.
After a turnover, Morelli scored with an and-1, giving the Fighting Irish a 44-42 lead with just under three minutes left in the game.
Christina Palillo tied the game with a basket on O-A's next possession, then was fouled on the team's next trip down the court. She hit both foul shots to give the Hornets a 46-44 advantage with just over two minutes left.
Again, it looked like O-A was going to win, just like they did in the consolation game of the Rotary Tournament.
But Notre Dame went inside the paint on the following possession, giving the ball to 6-foot sophomore Liz Geandreau, who was fouled while trying to get a shot off. She tied the score with two free throws.
Nobody scored for almost a minute and a half, but Morelli got to the foul line with 39 seconds left. She hit both attempts to give the Fighting Irish the two-point advantage.
The Hornets had one last shot with just seconds left on the clock, but missed a 3-pointer and couldn't get the rebound.
Morelli scored 11 of her 15 points in the second half and Jill Marshall pitched in 14 points for the Fighting Irish, who improve to 7-3. Nichole Hart had 12 points.
Brynn Perfitt continues to be a strong scoring option for Oakfield-Alabama (6-6), scoring 11 points. Hillary Bates scored a team-high 12 points and Palillo pitched in eight points.