By Zach James Herald Assistant Sports Editor
The Clinton Herald
---- — MORRISON, Ill. — For as hot as it was in the Morrison gymnasium on Thursday night, the level of play between Morrison and Amboy was just as fiery.
Amboy won in double overtime, 64-57, riding the back of Delaney Wilhelm, who had a game-high 24 points and made one of the biggest shots of the season.
With 3 seconds remaining in the first overtime, Amboy had the ball and basically had to set up a quick play. Wilhelm got the ball about 6 feet beyond the 3-point arc and nailed the shot to extend the game by another four minutes.
“I knew we didn’t have very much time left,” Wilhelm said. “It was our last chance, and I had to put it up.”
That made it 54-54 at the time, and the score at the end of regulation was 44-44.
Amboy’s 10 points in the first overtime came via 3-pointers from Wilhelm and Kennedy Dinges, and two field goals Kaitlyn Liebing and Karlee Doege.
The Fillies got their 10 overtime points from a 3-pointer by Lakin Goodman, six points from Ashley Greul and a free throw from freshman Emma Sitzmore.
Morrison went cold in the most inopportune time in the second overtime. It scored just three points in the four-minute period — a 3-pointer from Chelsea Eads. Eads and Sitzmore each had a team-high 16 points.
Before that, Morrison had opportunties to score, and took advantage of most of them. The Fillies scored 15 in the first quarter and 10 in the next two quarters before being outscored 15-9 in the fourth quarter.
Amboy had a 12-2 run to begin the second half, which propelled the Clippers to catch up to Morrison later in the fourth quarter.
“We always try to put in as much effort as possible, and we know we never can give up,” Wilhelm said. “Everyone put up a good fight tonight, I thought. Our posts were really tough.”
Wilhelm had to be the hero Monday night, too. And, she’s only a freshman.
“She scored the last four points for us on free throws,” Amboy coach Mike McCracken explained. “I kept telling her to make two more for her sister. She kept putting them in despite the stress. We knew as long as the ball was in her hands that she would take over.”
Delaney’s sister, Sydney, a junior, was sidelined with an ankle injury, and according to McCracken, the timetable for Sydney’s return is unknown.
Delaney Wilhelm wasn’t the only freshman on the floor for Amboy late in Thursday’s win. Hallie Nauman and Karlee Doege, who each had a basket, have had to be role players following Sydney’s injury.
“They’re growing up quickly,” McCracken said. “They give us fits all the time at practice in scrimmage situations.”
While Amboy traveled back home with a win, the Fillies had to deal with losing a close game that they could have won.
McCraken knew that despite being behind 25-15 at halftime, his team had the willpower to make a comeback.
“I kept trying to tell them that we were OK, and that we could come back from it,” McCracken said. “We came out and played really well. It certainly wasn’t easy, but we got there.”
“I told the girls that this was a great game, and their effort showed tonight,” Morrison coach Tyler Whitebread said. “At times we played well, and there were times where we had lapses, but we’re going to have those. I know we can learn from it, but this feeling sucks right now, but it was a fun game to be a part of.”
Whitebread was positive toward the fact that the Fillies competed hard for 40 minutes with the second best team in the Three Rivers Conference.
“They’re in second place for a reason,” Whitebread said. “To battle with them the way we did tonight, I hope we can take this experience the right way. We should learn from it, and learn how to finish.”
“A lot of girls had moments, but we didn’t have it for four quarters,” Whitebread said. “If we can have all our starters playing well together, that’s the difference of being above average in the conference.”
AMBOY 64, MORRISON 57 (2 OT)
AMBOY — Jennifer Boyle 1 0-0 2, Delaney Wilhelm 6 11-13 Kennedy Dinges 3 1-2 8, Micaela McCoy 1 2-4 4, Hallie Nauman 1 0-2 2, Karlee Doege 1 0-0 2, Joanna Fredericks 1 0-1 2, Kaitlyn Liebing 4 5-8 13, Elizabeth Ortgiesen 3 1-2 7. Totals 21 20-28 64.
MORRISON — Brandi Hosford 0 0-0 0, Alyssa Canales 1 1-2 3, Lakin Goodman 3 1-2 8, Emma Melton 0 0-2 0, Chelsea Eads 4 3-4 16, Ashley Greul 4 2-2 10, Adrienne Banks 1 0-0 2, Kassidee Church 1 0-0 2, Emma Sitzmore 5 6-10 16. Totals 20 13-22 57.
Amboy 8 7 14 15 10 10 — 64
Morrison 15 10 10 9 10 3 — 57
3-point goals — Amboy 2 (Dinges, Wilhelm); Morrison 4 (Eads 3, Goodman). Total fouls — Amboy 15, Morrison 22. Fouled out — Dinges, Goodman.