By Michael Hicks
LOVELAND — Morgan Sibrel’s second 3-pointer of the game as time expired helped host Thompson Valley avoid an upset with a 35-32 victory over Berthoud in girls basketball action Tuesday night.The Lady Spartans (6-10, 5-8 4A Northern Conference) trailed by eight points when Amy Ekart drained a running 3-pointer to end the third quarter. The basket ignited a 12-4 run that tied the game at 32 with 2 minutes, 25 seconds left.
Danielle Wikre opened the fourth quarter with a layup and Ekart followed 41 seconds later with a jumper from the wing to pull Berthoud to within 28-27. The teams traded baskets before Kacey Fagler’s layup with 2:25 left tied the game at 32.
Both teams followed that with turnovers before the Eagles took control of the ball with just over a minute left, setting up the dramatic final shot.
“I think we probably had what we wanted,” Berthoud head coach Randy Earl said of his team’s final defensive setup. “We talked about if we get beat on the drive, we talked about on that last timeout we got time to foul. We had three or four to give. If you get beat foul them, just don’t foul the shooter. We weren’t in bad defensive position.”
Thompson Valley (13-5, 12-3) intentionally held the ball, running the clock down to nine seconds before calling a final timeout. After pushing the ball toward the paint, the Eagles found Sibrel open at the top of the key where she drained the game-winning jumper.
The game saw six lead changes and was tied nine times, three times in the third quarter before Thompson Valley ran off eight straight points to lead 28-20.
Tai Mayes led Thompson Valley with 12 points. Sibrel finished with eight, while Jordan Sibrel, who was averaging 15 points per game, was held to five points.
Ekart paced Berthoud with 14 points.
“Well, you know, until the last shot it wasn’t frustrating at all,” Ekart said. “We were hoping not to foul on the shot and she made it. Nothing really you can do about that. Go back to a few free throws, a few fouls, but it was the best game we’ve played this year by far.”
The only thing that was missing was a victory.
THOMPSON VALLEY 35, BERTHOUD 32
BERTHOUD 7 7 9 9–32
THOMPSON VALLEY 7 9 12 7–35
BERTHOUD: Megan McGinn 1 1-3 3; Amy Ekart 5 2-2 14; Kacey Fagler 1 0-2 2; Julia Perry 1 0-0 2; Danielle Wikre 1 0-0 2; Rose Heaphy 0 4-5 4; Stephanie Heaton 1 0-0 2; Sarah Loberg 1 1-2 3. TOTALS: 11 8-14 32.
THOMPSON VALLEY: Nicole Felker 3 0-1 6; Tai Mayes 2 8-8 12; Brailey Freed 0 0-0 0; Jami Allison 1 0-0 2; Sydney Paulsen 1 0-0 2; Morgan Sibrel 3 0-0 8; Jordan Sibrel 2 1-2 5. TOTALS: 12 9-11 35.
3-POINTERS: Berthoud 2 (Ekart 2); Thompson Valley 2 (M. Sibrel 2)
FOULED OUT: None
TECHNICAL FOULS: None
<p>Berthoud senior Amy Ekart scored 14 points — seven in each half — but the Lady Spartans’ bid for an upset over Thompson Valley was spoiled when the Eagles’ Morgan Sibrel hit a 3-pointer at the final buzzer for a 35-32 victory.</p>