Shorewood's girls basketball program won its first division title in 42 years while its lone senior, Robbie Holland, tried to make her way back from knee surgery. Down one with 11.4 seconds left, Holland had a chance to make the story even more incredible with a game-winning shot.
But the storybook ending was not to be, as Ashley Imperiale's Wauwatosa West girls upset Shorewood on its home court, 34-33, in a WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal on Friday.
Playing from behind all game, Holland and the Greyhounds had a chance after Tosa West's Ashley Lindstrom did not convert her second free-throw attempt. After Lindstrom missed, Shorewood had 11.4 seconds left, when Megan Eimers pushed it up the floor and found Holland, who launched a 3-pointer that missed the rim. Ashley Eimers caught the air ball and put up a shot that rolled off the rim as time expired.
"We called a timeout and wanted to push it up the floor," Shorewood coach Jeff Eimers said. "We wanted to run something we call 'scissors.' I think she had a good look at first but backed up and took a three. That would have been the biggest shot of her career."
Holland, who led the team in scoring last season, made her first start since returning to game action and did not register a basket after her return. The Trojans (9-15) did not make life easy with a relentless defense that created 19 turnovers.
"We did not box out the way I would have liked," Imperiale said. "I thought, however, we did a great job controlling the tempo and making them take tough shots."
West, who finished last in the Woodland West, lost 41-20 back in December at Shorewood.
"A lot of us admitted we played a little scared back in that game," said Lindstrom, who finished with a game-high 15 points. "We did a better job attacking their zone and were a lot more composed."
The biggest difference between December's blowout and last week's game was the play of Trojans senior Amani Pettiford. Pettiford stepped in front of a pass that led to Lindstrom's go-ahead free throw. Despite scoring just one basket, the senior kept multiple plays alive with her hustle and snared a pair of clutch rebounds late.
"She was a girl three years ago who did not really know much (about basketball)," Imperiale said. "She has really played her role well this year. She had the presence to stop (after the steal), where earlier in the season, she may have tried to start dribbling right away."
Added Jeff Eimers: "I don't remember her in our first meeting, I don't even know if she played. She really controlled the post for them."
The Greyhounds (16-7) tied the game for only the second time at 33-33 with 1 minute and 40 seconds remaining as Jada Stackhouse scored in the paint. Shorewood missed three straight attempts from 3-point range before Stackhouse snared the third consecutive offensive rebound and converted to tie the game for only the second time.
Besides Lindstrom's 16 points, Elise Ditscheit and Abbey Jones had eight apiece and Pettiford two to account for the Trojans' scoring.
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