MEEKER – With less than seven seconds left on the clock and the game tied 51-51, Meeker's Cheyenne Kauley knocked down a triple to give the Lady Bulldogs the lead. Luther had a chance on the other end, but Meeker played tight enough defense to prevail 54-51 Friday night.
“We ran an inbounds set that Luther took away. It was not a set play,” Meeker coach Clay Plunk said. “We just let them play basketball, which is going to sound like an AAU coach. The girls did so well tonight so it's easy to make that call when it's a tie game. I just wanted to let them play.”
Luther jumped out to an 8-0 run, but after five points from Aubrey Pruitt and a triple from Emily Trevino, the Lady Bulldogs found themselves down 10-8 heading into the second quarter.
To start the second quarter, Ashley Vanschuyver and Kauley each knocked down a three-pointer to give Meeker a 14-10 lead. Luther battled back and ended the first half on an 8-4 run, giving Meeker a 27-26 lead headed into the locker room.
“I think we got tired,” Plunk said. “Luther is very athletic. We just came out in the second half and tried to communicate better. I told them if we are going to beat anyone late in the season we are going to have to stop multiple good players. I was happy with the way we adjusted our defense late.”
Vanschuyver carried the scoring load in the third quarter with seven points. Luther's Caitlyn Bailey matched her scoring but Meeker took a 39-35 into the final frame.
In the fourth quarter, Luther took the lead momentarily, but Meeker held a one-point lead, or it was tied for most of the final eight minutes. Both teams combined for 6 three-pointers in the fourth quarter but it was Kauley's that mattered most.
“Tonight the girls totally embraced their roles,” Plunk said. “They did not shy away from the challenge and they deserve every bit of the credit.”
Darien Edmonds did not record a point in the win, but her smothering defense on Maia Wright was a key component in the Lady Bulldogs' pulling off the win, Plunk said.
Kauley finished with 16 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs. Vanschuyver also chipped in 15 points.
Luther's Bailey led all scorers with 27, including 6 three-pointers.
Meeker (8-14) returns to action Tuesday when it hosts Prague. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.