The St. Ansgar Saints girls basketball team faced off against the Osage Green Devils on Tuesday night in what would be a game that fans will remember for quite some time. St. Ansgar had the ball trailing by two points with just a second left in the fourth quarter. The Saints inbounded to Molly Jenkins as she tried to put up a shot, smothered by Osage defenders. As the buzzer rang, the crowd thought there was a foul, but after a short discussion by the referees, the game was over just like that with a final score of 50-48.
“Everyone will remember the last “no” call on the play with Molly.” said Saints Head Coach Scott Cakerice. “But, there were other plays throughout the game that made a difference as well. I have always believed if it is a foul in the first minute of the game, it is also a foul in the last minute of the game.”
The rest of the game leading up to that point had fans at the edge of their seats. St. Ansgar battled it out with the Green Devils, and were leading 21-20 going into the half. St. Ansgar really came out strong in the third quarter too, outscoring Osage 17-8 in the quarter. Up 38-28 with one quarter to play, the Saints tried to keep their momentum going but Osage had other plans. They fought back into the game and outscored the Saitns 20-12 and after the final buzzer rang, the Saints fell by two points.
“The girls battled hard all night,” said Cakerice. “Our goal was to make it a 4th quarter game and be there with a chance at the end. We accomplished that. Going in, we knew Osage would be strong on the boards and they were. We will work on improving that area in the upcoming practices.”
With the loss, the Saints drop their first game of the season after opening with wins over Riceville and Central Springs. But the loss doesn’t concern Cakerice.
“It may sound strange, but as a team, we feel better about where we are after the close loss than we did after the first two wins,” said Cakerice. “I am hoping we came of age last night, knowing we can compete with the best teams in our area.”
St. Ansgar has a full slate of games starting Friday in North Butler. Saturday the Saints will host Charles City and will have a days rest on Sunday before taking on Nashua-Plainfield on Monday night at NP.
For our next three games, our goal is to simply get better,” said Cakerice. “We have much work to do to get to where we want to be.”