CAMANCHE — It was as if the Northeast Rebels were witnessing the same nightmare they had a month and 10 days ago.
Seven seconds to go. Score tied at 48 between Northeast and Camanche. Camanche is working the ball around, trying to get Kylie Vogel open on the right side of the floor on a backdoor screen to the basket.
Brettan Hilgendorf finds herself open with the ball near the top of the arc. Just under two seconds to go.
She has to put a shot up to avoid overtime.
Hilgendorf’s shot went in, and the Indians advanced to the Class 3A Region 6 championship game Saturday against Mediapolis in Wilton with the 50-48 win.
The teams met twice before this season. The Rebels won the first meeting 39-33 on Dec. 9, while the Indians won their home game Jan. 10 in similar fashion to Wednesday’s game.
Both head coaches, Chas Jargo (Northeast) and Camanche’s Danny Vogel, have respect for one another’s program. Each coach knew that this was going to be a nailbiter throughout.
Northeast’s biggest problem early was Breanne Butler being in foul trouble. She fouled out in the final two minutes but had three fouls in the first half, which led to some Rebels having to step up. And they did, but not for a while when it mattered most.
“We make some big plays, and then we turn the ball over and they capitalize, and next thing you know, it’s a tie game,” Vogel said.
Camanche did have a 40-32 lead at the end of the third quarter, and even led 46-43 with 1:30 remaining with the Rebels having two fouls to give before the Indians were in the bonus.
However, Northeast chipped away thanks to an Addie Oberman three-point possession that included a putback layup off a missed free throw in a quarter where the Rebels scored 16 points.
After that play, both teams traded shots and possessions.
Back to Hilgendorf having the ball with just seconds remaining. She had two baskets before the final shot. After a few rattles around the rim with a packed gym watching, Hilgendorf made it three.
“It was nice that the ball bobbled in,” Hilgendorf said with a smile. “It was nervewracking. I am so glad we get to advance.”
The Indians won in nearly the same fashion that they beat the Rebels in their most recent meeting. On Jan. 10, Rebels guard Libby Schnoor hit a game-winning shot as time expired against the Rebels. In that instance, it left the Rebels walking off the court with a grimace.
On Wednesday, most walked off in misty-eyed disbelief.
“Not again,” Jargo said. “It was another really good game; we’ve played a ton of games like these against Camanche. Just didn’t go our way.”
Jargo saidresiliency carried the Rebels the past couple of weeks, especially in the near-comeback Wednesday.
“Our girls don’t know how to quit,” Jargo said. “We were behind a lot of games the last three weeks, and we came back and won most of them. The last time out, we thought we could get it, and, unfortunately, it didn’t go our way.”
The thing that hurt Northeast the most in Jargo’s mind was allowing Camanche guard Kylie Vogel to score 17 points.
“We allowed her to go off,” Jargo said. “You gotta give her credit, she didn’t want to lose her last game on her home floor, but we didn’t find her as well as we did in the first two games.”
Northeast held Vogel to four points in each of the Dec. 3 and Jan. 10 games.
Hilgendorf didn’t hit just one buzzer-beater — she also got a layup right before the horn sounded at the end of the second quarter.
“I was just in really good position and it went in,” she said, simply.
“It was the exact same game,” coach Vogel said. “It was more offense, but it’s the same game as last time.”
Aleenah Marcucci led Northeast with 17 points, while Oberman finished her high school basketball career with a 15-point performance.
Camanche now faces Mediapolis at 7 p.m. Saturday in Wilton. The Bullettes defeated Mid-Prairie 60-36 on Wednesday.
“We’ll let the girls celebrate tonight but come back with a tough practice on Thursday to get ready against a really good team in Mediapolis,” Vogel said.
CAMANCHE 50, NORTHEAST 48
NORTHEAST (17-7) — Aleenah Marcucci 6 4-4 17, Tara Klemme 0 0-0 0, Addie Oberman 4 6-10 15, Ashley Kruse 1 0-0 2, Laikyn Schaefer 1 1-2 3, Breanne Butler 3 3-3 9, Courtney Stoll 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 14-19 48.
CAMANCHE (16-7) — Jordan Goldbeck 0 0-0 0, Kylie Vogel 5 2-2 16, Jordan Nissen 1 1-1 3, Brettan Hilgendorf 3 0-0 6, Libby Schnoor 1 2-2 4, Lindsey Grams 2 0-0 6, Julia Moore 6 2-8 14, Maddie Parker 0 1-2 1. Totals 18 8-15 50.
Northeast 14 7 11 16 — 48
Camanche 12 17 11 10 — 50
3-point goals — Northeast 2 (Marcucci, Oberman); Camanche 6 (Vogel 4, Grams 2). Total fouls — Northeast 13, Camanche 18. Fouled out — Butler.