|Muenster knocks Lady Panthers out of playoffs for second straight year|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
Feb. 19, 2005 - BONHAM - Oh no, not again.
For the second year in a row, the Muenster Lady Hornets prevailed in overtime over North Hopkins, 52-45, in the area round of the playoffs, ending the Lady Panthers' season.
North Hopkins junior post Katy Williams and senior guard Sara Weir combined for 40 points, but Muenster used its height advantage with 5-11 sisters JoAnna and Megan Felderhoff to win the rebounding battle and record seven blocked shots.
JoAnna, a senior, was also an offensive force, scoring 23 points including nine of the Lady Hornets' 13 points in OT. Muenster will now face Zavalla in the regional semifinals next week.
North Hopkins (22-9) rallied from four points down in the final minutes of regulation to tie the game, and held a brief two-point lead in overtime, but Muenster (26-5) made 9-of-10 free throws in the final 55 seconds to close out the win.
"I'm happy with how the kids played. They played real hard," said a disappointed NH head coach Tim Menke. "Muenster was the second-place team in the state last year. They're a very good team, and we've played them heads up for the last two years, but we just can't seem to get them in overtime.
"Our little people made a good showing for themselves. We're a small team, but we play with a lot of heart."
That showed up in the fourth quarter. The Lady Panthers had to weather a 15-6 run by Muenster that started in the third quarter and didn't end until 3:20 remained in regulation when Weir took an inbound pass from Nancy Castro and swished a 3-pointer that cut Muenster's lead from four points down to 37-36.
JoAnna Felderhoff then made a pair of free throws with 2:10 remaining after being fouled by Williams, who picked up her fourth foul.
Weir, though, cut the lead back to one point at 39-38 at the two-minute mark by making a pair of free throws after being fouled while attempting a 3-pointer.
The score remained that way until 11 seconds remained and North Hopkins junior Elizabeth McPherson was fouled on a 12-foot jumper that rolled out. She hit the first of her free throws to tie game at 39-39.
Muenster had one last shot, but it came up short, sending the contest into overtime.
A pair of free throws by Williams, who was fouled after gathering an offensive rebound, gave the Lady Panthers a 41-39 advantage with 3:00 to play. But, Muenster used two NH turnovers and a Felderhoff blocked shot to spur them on an 8-0 run to take a 47-41 lead with 34 seconds to play.
By making their free throws, Muenster made sure North Hopkins couldn't come back.
Williams finished with 23 points, 17 rebounds and six steals, all team-highs, while Weir added 17 points, six boards and three assists. That gave Weir 2,224 points in her high school career, a modern-day NHHS record.
Together, Weir and Williams combined to make 19-of-21 free throws, and the team went 20-of-25.
Felderhoff was the only Muenster player in double-figure scoring, but the Lady Hornets got eight points each from Sandy Endres and Alison Teafatiller. Muenster also collected 36 rebounds to 27 for North Hopkins.
"They're such a big team, and their size gives us trouble," Menke said. "I also thought their guards handled the ball better this year, and they had a little more depth at the guard spot that we thought.
"It's one of those games, that a shot here or there and it's a different result."
The Lady Panthers started strong. Senior Kate Hollenshead, whose defense helped hold Felderhoff to six first-half points, gave the Lady Panthers a 2-0 lead with a 17-foot jumper. By the end of the first quarter, North Hopkins had a 10-4 advantage, courtesy of a 3-point play by Weir and a nice give-and-go bucket from McPherson to Williams.
The Lady Panthers held a 21-17 lead at halftime as they fended off a strong Muenster run in the second period that included a 3-pointer from Teafatiller.
North Hopkins' lead reached six points, 25-19, three minutes into the third quarter after Williams converted an offensive rebound into two free throws, but then Muenster made its inevitable run, taking a 33-31 advantage by the start of the fourth quarter.
"I thought we came out and had a real nice first quarter, and were up four points at half," Menke said. "I told the kids at halftime that I thought they would come out and make a run at us, and they did, then we had to go toe-to-toe with them.
"We just never could wear them out."