By Kurt Ritzman
Assistant Sports Editor
DES MOINES —
Sarah Lampe was getting frustrated.
The Marquette Catholic point guard broke Ar-We-Va’s press with regularity Monday night through the first two-and-a-half quarters of a Class 1A state quarterfinal. The senior had no turnovers despite being hounded by up to three defenders at a time in the backcourt and the Mohawks had a 15-point lead.
Then, Ar-We-Va started to come back. Lampe turned the ball over three times in just over two minutes. The third turnover was a steal by Ar-We-Va’s Paige Danner that led to a fastbreak layup, cutting Marquette’s lead to six.
Some calming words from teammates and some great play by sophomore Nikki Blum helped the Mohawks win by eight in overtime. Lampe, who was very emotional after the win, sunk four free throws in the extra session to help seal the win.
“Why I’m so emotional about the win is because toward the middle of the game I was having a rough time dribbling past Danner,” Lampe said. “I turned the ball over a few times. I was getting stressed out. My teammates came up to me and they said, ‘You’ve got this’ and they calmed me down. I got my head back in the game. I think that’s why this game was so special to me. I was really down and I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. My teammates picked me up. It makes you really appreciate the girls you play with.”
The role of encourager is one that’s often played by Lampe.
“Sarah is my rock,” senior Danielle Bender said. “She’s the one I go to when I’m freaking out.”
Blum came in and gave Lampe a break from bringing the ball upcourt. She also scored eight points in a row for Marquette, to help the Mohawks keep just ahead of Ar-We-Va.
After Marquette won, Lampe went looking for Blum and gave her a giant hug.
“I told her she was an awesome player and that she stepped up as a sophomore in her first time at the state tournament,” Lampe said. “I told her she made some big shots and brought the ball up the court when I couldn’t. I told her how much I appreciate her and love her as a teammate.”