Girls Basketball: St Joseph stuns Montini
Updated: December 30, 2011 11:11PM
All it took was a little reminder from the coach and a smile from Leah Banda.
St. Joseph forward Donna Koerber made four free throws in the final 1 minute, 3 seconds, including two with 13.2 seconds remaining to give her team a five-point lead as the No. 25 Chargers surprised No. 11 Montini 39-34 Thursday at the Montini Christmas Tournament.
St. Joseph (12-3) trailed 24-16 at halftime, but outscored the Broncos 18-5 to take a 34-29 lead with 2:15 left in the fourth quarter.
“Coach (Jim Maley) reminded us at halftime what we practiced,” Koerber said. “I think we forgot in the first half what Montini did and what we were supposed to do against it. The coach reminded us at halftime and we just did what he told us.”
Montini (15-4) pulled within 35-34 on a pair of free throws by Kateri Stone with 1:05 remaining, but Koerber was fouled on the ensuing inbounds play and began her personal parade to the free-throw line.
“Whenever I have to shoot pressure free throws, I look at (senior guard) Leah Banda,” Koerber said. “She smiles, and all I think about is her smile. It takes off my mind off the free throw and how much pressure is on me. I just end up making them. That’s what helps me get through my free throws.”
Koerber led St. Joseph with 14 points, Deja Horn added nine and Briya Wilborn and junior Shakeera Jones each had five. But it was the defense of Jones and sophomore Chanel Brown that most pleased Maley.
“(Montini center) Tianna Brown is an unbelievable player,” Maley said. “I know she got her points, but those two did a great job. It took two of them, but Chanel and Shakeera worked very, very hard in the middle.”
Brown had 14 points for Montini, which also got eight points from Stone and six from Malayna Johnson.
“We really wanted to beat Montini,” Koerber said. “Two years ago, they beat us by one point in the sectional championship. We wanted to beat them, especially on their home court.”