ROCHESTER — The Lady Zebras’ ability to hit free throws in the final quarter proved to be the difference as Rochester squeaked by Culver, 48-47.
Rochester was able to hit 11 of 14 from the line in the final quarter, and none bigger than junior Breanne Paulik’s two that put the Zebras up three with 25.3 seconds left to go in the game. Culver Junior Kayla Shaffer was able to hit a shot to bring the Cavaliers within one with 7 seconds left, but the Cavaliers were not able to get a foul called until only 0.2 was showing on the clock.
Culver started off slow as Rochester jumped out to an 11-3 lead. Shaffer was able to bring the visitors back, scoring seven of her 26 in the first quarter and giving them a 13-11 lead after one. The second quarter was more of the same as the Cavs took a 24-18 lead into the half.
Rochester came out a different team in the third quarter.
The Zebras were able to move the ball well and make it a halfcourt game, which slowed down the Cavaliers’ fast break offense. Rochester used that ability to slow things down to not only close the gap, but turned the momentum completely and took a 35-29 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The Zebras took the Cavs out of their game plan, which according to Culver coach Gina Hierlmeier, is to run it up the court.
“When we have the opportunity to run, we are a better team offensively,” she said. “We have a lot of teams that are packing things in and making us run a halfcourt offense. We are just going to continue to learn from that and be able to execute our sets. In the halfcourt we had moments we looked pretty good and at other times we didn’t feel like we were cutting hard or hitting the gaps where we need to get, which didn’t allow us to get very good shot.”
The Cavs were able to run the floor some more in the fourth quarter and make the game close, but the Zebras were able to hit their free throws when they were put on the line.
Culver is now 5-2 and will be looking to bounce back from the loss when the team plays at Northern State Conference foe Bremen Saturday. Rochester is now 4-2 and will look to continue the win streak when it heads to Southwood also on Saturday.
• ROCHESTER 48, CULVER 47
Score by quarters
Culver: 13 24 29 47
Rochester: 11 18 35 48
CULVER (47): Shakkira Harris 0 0-0 0, Ali Overmyer 2 0-0 6, Angella Lewellen 1 0-0 2, Tatum Schultz 3 1-2 7, Lona Montgomery 0 0-0 0, Mickella Hardy 3 0-0 6, Donna Zehner 0 0-0 0, Marissa Howard 0 0-0 0, Kayla Shaffer 10 3-3 26, Maddie Strycker 0 0-0 0; Totals: 19 4-5 47.
ROCHESTER (48): Alexa Holland 4 1-2 10, Rylee Holland 2 0-0 5, Raeann Hunter 4 0-5 8, Becky Malchow 0 2-2 2, Lindsay Mitchell 0 0-0 0, Karli Murphy 1 2-2 4, Breanne Paulik 3 7-8 13, Riley Pfeiffer 0 4-4 4, Kaelee Smith 1 0-0 2; Totals: 15 16-24 48.
3-pointers: Culver 5 (Shaffer 3, Overmyer 2), Rochester 2 (A. Holland, R. Holland); Turnovers: Culver 10, Rochester 15; Rebounds: Culver 22 (Zehner 6, Shaffer 6), Rochester 28 (Paulik 8); Steals: Culver 12 (Schultz 5), Rochester 5 (Paulik 2, R. Holland 2); Assists: Culver 12 (Schultz 5), Rochester 8 (A. Holland 4); Fouls (fouled out): Culver 16 (none), Rochester 8 (none).
Records: Culver 5-2, Rochester 4-2.