The Ell-Saline Cardinal girls’ basketball squad lost a heartbreaker Thursday evening to the Douglass Bulldogs in the Heart of America League – Central Plains League challenge.
Playing on a neutral floor at Marion High School, both teams got off to a sluggish start offensively. With the scored tied 2-2 halfway through the first quarter, Douglass (1-5) closed out the quarter on an 8-4 run to take a 10-6 lead.
In the second quarter, Ell-Saline (0-6) came to life offensively, pouring 18 points onto the scoreboard with eight of those coming from Cardinal sophomore Raleigh Kramer. The strong offensive showing gave Ell-Saline a 24-18 lead at the break, the first halftime lead for the Cardinals this season. However, Douglass refused to go away.
Following the 18-point second quarter effort, the Cardinal offense disappeared in the third quarter, mustering just two points. Douglass scored nine in the period to regain the lead at 27-26, setting the stage for what would prove to be a thrilling finish.
Neither team led by more than a possession in a nip and tuck fourth quarter. With less than two minutes left to play, Kramer buried a three from the left wing to give Ell-Saline a 35-32 lead. On the ensuing possession, Bulldog freshman Rebecca Hajdukovich connected from beyond the arc to nod the contest at 35-35.
Following a Cardinal miss, Douglass got the basketball back with just over 30 seconds remaining and held for the final possession. With three seconds left, freshman Joslyn DeLano missed a runner in the paint, but junior Myra Megli pulled down the offensive rebound and hit the stickback as time expired to give Douglass a 37-35 victory.
Megli led the Bulldogs with 15 points, while Hajdukovich added 13 points.
Kramer finished the night tied for game-high scoring honors with a season-high 15 points, while Cardinal junior Reece Ditto chipped in seven points in the loss.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Ell-Saline 6 18 2 9 – 35
Douglass 10 8 9 10 – 37