BOTKINS — New Bremen sophomore Julie Brown’s jumper with five seconds left allowed the Cardinals to defeat the Botkins Trojans 50-48 on Monday night.
It was a tight battle throughout the game with the lead changing hands often, but the clean jumper off a turnover by Brown gave New Bremen its first road win of the season.
“We needed this win,” Cardinals varsity coach Randy Eckert said. “It was one of those games that they got a lead and we got a lead and it went back and forth and we were just fortunate to win it at the end.”
Going down the court the Trojans lost the ball out of bounds with 10 seconds left. Following a timeout, the Cardinals set up a play for Brown to get open for the final shot.
“That was a good pass from Kyla (Otting) getting the ball to Julie,” Eckert said. “It was a play that we designed and it worked.”
Brown led the way for New Bremen with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
“We couldn’t get over the hump tonight,” Trojans varsity coach Don Mack said. “As far as getting a lead we tie the game up but we had a defensive rotation breakdown at the end.”
Botkins’ Logan Pitts hit two free throws with 37 seconds left to give Botkins a 48-47 lead — giving the Trojans a lead after they rallied from a four-point deficit to start the fourth quarter.
New Bremen’s Brown tied the game at 48-48 with one of two free throws, setting up Botkins’ turnover and Brown’s game-winning shot.
Going into the fourth quarter the Cardinals held a 35-31 lead, but that quickly changed.
After a leadoff layup from Brown, Christine Johnson sank four free throws and hit a basket to tie the game at 37-all with 5:28 left.
New Bremen answered right back with two baskets and a pair of free throws from Haley Moeller to regain a 43-37 lead with four minutes remaining.
“In the second half we cut down our turnovers and played a lot better,” Eckert said. “We took care of the basketball in the second half and everybody contributed.”
Logan Pitts had 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Trojans.
“We were able to control Pitts in the second half,” Eckert said. “She got some garbage baskets, but she was boxing us out and we were not handling her in the first half.”
“We had Christine Johnson in foul trouble and that hurt us,” Mack said. “Hailey Billing is injured and our rotation was a little out of it, but the girls tried hard. They lost by two to Russia on Thursday night and then to lose tonight by two. We missed nine free throws tonight and if we make them we win the game.”
In the first quarter the Cardinals had trouble hanging onto the ball as they committed 8 turnovers, but they still only trailed 12-9 after the first eight minutes.
The second quarter saw New Bremen handle the ball better and play better defense as they fought their way to a tie at 16- all with 3:14 left and grabbed a 19-16 lead with 2:23 left. They kept that lead at 24-21 at halftime.
The Cardinals edged the Trojans in the third quarter 11-10 to lead 35-31 after three quarters.
The Cardinals (2-3) entertain Coldwater in a MAC game on Thursday and Delphos Jefferson on Saturday.
Botkins (2-3) hosts New Knoxville tonight.