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Savages take third

Salmon River’s Maddy Tucker came this close to taking the ball away from a Dietrich guard during the final minute of last Friday’s pitched battle for a place in the 1AD2 state title game. Dietrich was defending a 45-44 lead at the time; the previous four minutes had seen six lead changes, but Dietrich held onto the ball through much of the final minute despite the pressure the Salmon River girls applied.

Photo by Andrew Ottoson
Salmon River’s Maddy Tucker came this close to taking the ball away from a Dietrich guard during the final minute of last Friday’s pitched battle for a place in the 1AD2 state title game. Dietrich was defending a 45-44 lead at the time; the previous four minutes had seen six lead changes, but Dietrich held onto the ball through much of the final minute despite the pressure the Salmon River girls applied.



— The Savages put together a righteous run at the end of their battle with Dietrich last Friday, Feb. 19, but the Blue Devils held on by a slim margin, 47-44.

With advancement to the state championship game in play, Salmon River had a late look at potential game-tying triple, which came a beat too late to count and was off the mark regardless.

Dietrich caught a bigger break when a Savages inbounds set went awry with 1:08 left. Dietrich, leading 45-44 but wavering, came away with the ball, and the turnover put Salmon River in the position of having to foul during the end game.

They had fouls to give, and nearly had the turnover a couple of times, but when they finally sent Katee Hubert to the line with 22 seconds left, Hubert hit both.

Dietrich had to feel fortunate: Salmon River had trailed by 10, 28-18, early in the third. SRHS rallied behind Payton Branstetter (12 points), Chevelle Shepherd (15) and Maddy Tucker (11), who each hit key shots during the rally.

With her team down by seven, Branstetter took a charge at the defensive end and drained her second three of the quarter at the offensive end. Tucker and Shepherd had back-to-back baskets at the end of the quarter, which lifted Salmon River within one, 32-31.

Branstetter forced the elusive tie with a couple of free throws midway through the fourth, and Sarah Laritz (six points) gave SRHS a 38-36 lead with about four minutes left.

Dietrich answered with a lead-changing trey, and Laritz struck back with a lead-changing layup off a nice pass from Shepherd, which forced a Blue Devils timeout with 3:34 remaining.

From there, it was tied once at 42-42, on a hoop by Shepherd, and Salmon River led once, 44-42, on a hoop by Branstetter, before Dietrich sniper Matigan Bingham hit the key shot: her third three-pointer of the game. Hubert led all scorers with 16.



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