Rock solid: Brodhead edges Whitewater in overtime
Brodhead and Whitewater came into Thursday night's Rock Valley Conference girls basketball showdown riding a combined 23-game winning streak.
Neither team had been tested since the second week of the season, and the game featured two of the state's top players in Brodhead's Carly Mohns and Whitewater's Brooke Trewyn.
And even though the teams may meet again in the postseason, the Cardinals earned the regular-season bragging rights.
Mohns scored 24 points and Meg Duffield hit what turned out to be the game-winning 3-point basket with 23 seconds left in overtime to lift Brodhead to a 62-59 RVC crossover victory.
Brodhead, ranked No. 2 in the state, won its 14th straight in improving to 14-0 overall and 9-0 in the Rock Valley South.
Whitewater saw its 10-game winning streak snapped in falling to 11-3 overall and 6-2 in the Rock Valley North.
The Cardinals fell behind by four in overtime thanks to back-to-back 3-point baskets by Trewyn, but they finished the game on a 9-2 run to stay unbeaten.
“I think Judy (Harms) would tell you the same thing as I'm going to say, and that is that both teams needed a game like this where we were tested,” Brodhead coach Brad Pickett said. “So, for the game to go the way it did and for both teams to play as well as they did, it is only going to benefit both teams down the road.
“It was a playoff-type atmosphere, and I feel very fortunate to come out of here with a win.”
Whitewater took a 49-47 lead with 1:41 left in regulation on Trewyn's 3-pointer, her fourth of six in the game. Brodhead tied the game with 40 seconds left on Mohn's putback, and it eventually grabbed a 51-49 lead on two free throws by Mohns with two seconds left.
Needing to go the length of the court and get a shot off in only two ticks, Whitewater somehow managed to get three passes off. Whippets freshman Rebekah Schumacher took the final pass from Kailey Reynolds and scored underneath as the buzzer sounded to force overtime.
Trewyn's back-to-back 3s sandwiched in between Amber Pickel's basket made it 57-53 with 2:33 left in the overtime. But a Kylie Moe basket cut the lead to two and Mohns' three-point play with 1:10 left gave the Cardinals a 58-57 lead.
Trewyn, who finished with 24 points, gave Whitewater its last lead with a jumper to make it 59-58 with 52 seconds left. But Duffield calmly sank her 3 from the left corner to give Brodhead the answer and the lead for good with 23 seconds left. She added a free throw with nine seconds left for the final margin.
“We've got a big game with Clinton on Tuesday, so we have to get right back to work at practice tomorrow,” Mohns said. “It's nice to get the win, but we know we can play better, and that's going to force us to keep working hard.”
Reynolds, who scored 14 points, got a 3 off at the buzzer for Whitewater, but the potential game-tying shot came up short.
Mohns, a University of Iowa recruit, said the victory celebrating won't last long.
Fittingly, the hard work could eventually result in a matchup between the Whippets and Cardinals. The two teams could very well meet again in a WIAA Division 3 sectional semifinal game.