WEST LEBANON, Ind. — There were 5.7 seconds left in the game when Maci Kyger went to the free throw line for a one-and-one for Attica in their game at Seeger..
Her team led 47-45, but if she missed and the Patriots got the rebound, they would have plenty of time to come down and either tie or win the game.
Kyger made both free throws to put the Ramblers up 49-45 and that turned out to be the final score.
Asked about going to the line, Kyger explained what she did.
“I was nervous, but I tried to relax and block everything out. I tried to put arch on the ball – my teammates tell me that every time – and tried to follow through.”
And what about after the shots?
“I trust my teammates and knew we’d stay in front of them [Seeger] on defense so they couldn’t hurry down and score,” she said. “Knowing that helped me block things out up there.”
Attica may have won the game, but it was not an easy victory. It never is when a team plays Seeger with its’ tenacious defense.
The Ramblers took a six-point lead after one quarter at 12-6, but the Patriots came right back to close within a point at 16-15 when Miranda Synesael score five points in two plays.
Attica continued to push their attack and raise the lead, but each time Seeger found an answer and reeled them back in.
At the half, Attica led 22-17 and they raised the margin again to six in the third quarter on baskets by Ashley Mitton.
Seeger’s defense then came into play as they forced two turnovers that led to back-to-back treys by Kiley Swisher and Morgan Rademacher to tie the game at 26-all.
As they had all night, Attica made another run, this one triggered by a basket then a 3-point play by Maci Kyger who scored 26 points on the night. When Karrah Pattengale followed with a short jumper, the Ramblers were up seven and Seeger needed a time out.
The Patriots rallied to pull within four after three quarters at 38-34, but once again, it was Kyger to make a run of her own to open the lead back to six.
One last time Seeger turned to their defense to close the gap and they were able to get a basket from Hannah Gustus and a trey from Synesael to reach that 47-45 score and put Kyger to the line.
Despite the outcome, Seeger coach Brent Rademacher liked much of what he saw from his team.
“Our kids played well out there,” he said. “They competed and made big baskets. Our bench contributed when we needed them.
“I feel a lot better than after the Holiday tournament. The kids did what we wanted them to do and were mentally tougher tonight.”
For Attica coach Matt Harmeson, it was the 19 win this season against no losses, but that is not what he is focusing on.
“Sure it’s nice to get the wins,” he said, “but it’s more about how we’re playing. We’ve had to do different things – to scratch and claw our way and dig deep to get the last couple of wins but we got them.”
He said he was proud of his team, exclaiming, “Maybe the most proud I’ve been all year given how we executed in the fourth quarter tonight. We spread the floor, didn’t have turnovers and played good defense.
“This was a huge win for us. We’ll be better at sectional because of the way we’ve been tested.”
With the loss, Seeger falls into a second-place tie with Fountain Central at 5-1 in the Wabash River Conference. Attica leads the WRC with a 6-0 record with one game left to play on Friday when they host Riverton Parke.
Greg Flint is a freelance writer/photographer for the Commercial-News. He can be reached at email@example.com