Corvallis girls bring down Whitefish at buzzer

By Derek Hendrickson

The Corvallis Lady Blue Devils conjured up a miraculous 37-35 last second win over the Whitefish Lady Bulldogs Friday afternoon to advance to the consolation semifinals of the Western A Divisional basketball tournament at the Butte Civic Center. Stat sheet

Whitefish trailed for most of the game and found themselves down 35-29 with under 2 minutes to go.  A decisive 8 point run was capped when Corine Sanderson sank both free throws with 4.7 seconds to go for the winning points.

Sanderson’s 14 points were a game high and included a perfect 8 for 8 mark from the line.  She also had 3 steals.  Free throws were the difference as Whitefish settled for jump shots all game long.

Corvallis aggressively drove to the hoop throughout the second half and managed to draw 18 foul shots to only 6 for Whitefish.  That resulted in an 11 point scoring difference as the Lady Blue Devils sank 15 of theirs compared to just four for Whitefish.

The first half saw the teams exchange big runs as Whitefish opened and closed on 10-0 runs.  Corvallis burned 2 timeouts in the first quarter and finally got things going and used a run of their own between the first and second periods to finally go on top 17-16.

After a couple lead changes the Lady Bulldogs got back-to-back triples and separated themselves going into the break.

The second half was a defensive struggle as neither team could find any sort of room to maneuver.  Corvallis shot 3 of 24 in the second half but avoided falling further behind by forcing 23 turnovers and limiting the Lady Bulldogs to just 2 of 11 shooting.

Allie Shultz scoring 11 for Whitefish and was joined by Cailyn Ross in double digits as she had 10.  Sophomore star Dani Douglas was held in check as she only had 5 points after 2 big games to start the tournament.

Whitefish sees their season come to an end at 7-14 and will certainly wonder what might have been after never trailing by more than 2 points the entire game and blowing an 11 point lead.

Corvallis, 8-12, lives to fight tomorrow morning and will play at the MAC at 9:45 against the loser of the Frenchtown vs. Butte Central semifinal later this evening.

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