Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Girls Basketball District Roundup

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Girls Basketball District Roundup

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS * There would be no comeback this time.

After erasing a double-digit deficit headed into the fourth quarter of last year's district championship game against Principia, the Lutheran St. Charles girls basketball team flipped the script and held nearly the same advantage with eight minutes to play in Saturday's Class 3 District 4 title game at Whitfield.

Instead of coming down to the final seconds, this year's game likely was decided in the first 11 seconds of the quarter as Lutheran rolled to the 54-34 win.

That's because Lutheran sophomore forward Savannah Kluesner stepped in front of Principia scoring sensation Alli Ball and drew a charge, disqualifying Ball with her fifth foul.

"I was really nervous, but I thought I should probably step up and take the charge," Kluesner said. "I knew if I could get another foul on her, it would be very beneficial to the team."

After Ball fouled out, Lutheran scored five straight points on free throws. The Panthers got as close as 10 points before the Cougars cemented the win.

Although the fourth quarter really proved to be the Lutheran crescendo, the third quarter was where the story was told.

Lutheran came out of the locker room and turned a 17-all tie into a 31-21 lead.

Kluesner's five points led the way as four Cougars scored in the quarter. She sank a layup with 6 minutes 27 seconds left in the third quarter, and Lutheran never trailed again.

"We wanted to emphasize to the girls that the game was never over, they'd been in those situations before with those comeback wins," Lutheran coach Erin Luttschwager said. "We knew that we still needed to play."

The first half was slowed to a crawl because of Ball's foul trouble.

After Principia took a 13-10 lead after the first quarter, Ball picked up her third foul in the second quarter and the Panthers slowed the game to a crawl as the game went into intermission after Ball sank a layup in advance of the buzzer.

Kluesner led Lutheran St. Charles (21-7, No. …

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