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Article updated: 12/7/2013 12:21 AM
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Wild finish from Wheeling too much for BG
 

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Wild finish from Wheeling too much for BG
  • Buffalo Grove's Courtney Meyer goes after a loose ball as Wheeling's Nicole Zlotnikova, left, and Hailey Dammeier fight for control in the first half at Wheeling High School.

    Purchase Photo | Buffalo Grove's Courtney Meyer goes after a loose ball as Wheeling's Nicole Zlotnikova, left, and Hailey Dammeier fight for control in the first half at Wheeling High School. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Buffalo Grove's Kim Herzog splits Wheeling's defense as she tries to score in the first half at Wheeling.

    Purchase Photo | Buffalo Grove's Kim Herzog splits Wheeling's defense as she tries to score in the first half at Wheeling. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Buffalo Grove's Maddy Callahan fights for control of the ball with Wheeling's Nicole Zlotnikova, right, and Hailey Dammeier before she passed it off to her teammate at Wheeling.

    Purchase Photo | Buffalo Grove's Maddy Callahan fights for control of the ball with Wheeling's Nicole Zlotnikova, right, and Hailey Dammeier before she passed it off to her teammate at Wheeling. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Buffalo Grove's Kim Herzog and Wheeling's Deanna Kuzmanic goes after a loose ball in the first half at Wheeling.

    Purchase Photo | Buffalo Grove's Kim Herzog and Wheeling's Deanna Kuzmanic goes after a loose ball in the first half at Wheeling. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Sophomore Maddie Welter's fifth 3-pointer seemed to have Buffalo Grove's girls basketball in cruise control on Friday night at Wheeling.

It gave the Bison a 13-point lead, their biggest of the game, with 3:27 left in the third quarter.

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But the Wildcats, who had been trailing most of the game, seemed hardly fazed.

All they did was hold the Bison to 2 free throws in the final 10:30 and rallied for a 45-38 victory in the Mid-Suburban East opener.

Junior center Lani Greenberg helped spark the comeback, scoring all of her season-high 14 points in the second half.

"Lani gave us some huge minutes and huge baskets," said Wheeling coach Julissa Hernandez "Her baskets started our momentum."

Maddy Callahan's inside bucket with 2:30 left in the third quarter gave BG a 36-25 lead with 2:30 left in the third period.

But Wheeling (4-4, 1-0) would not allow another bucket the rest of the way, and only 2 free throws, one apiece from Sammy Stejskal and Kim Herzog.

"We just played Wheeling defense," Hernandez said. "It took us a while to get into it. But in the fourth quarter, we showed it. It was a team effort."

Greenberg answered Callahan's basket less than 20 second later, sparking a 20-2 run by Wheeling to end the game.

"Seeing Lani score the way she was gave us all the confidence to start scoring," said Wheeling all-area junior guard Deanna Kuzmanic, who recently committed to Alabama-Birmingham. "Our defense was pretty good the whole game. We just needed our offense to come around."

Junior Hailey Dammeier's 14-footer in the lane got the Wildcats to within 36-29 after three quarters.

They kept the momentum into the fourth, as Kuzmanic and Greenberg scored in the first two minutes to cut the deficit to 36-33.

Kuzmanic's 3-pointer tied the game at 36 with 5:50 left and BG coach Steve Kolodziej called for a timeout.

But there was nothing that could slow down the Wildcats, who came up with yet another defensive stop and then received a 14-footer in the lane from Greenberg to take the lead for good at 38-36.

"Coach just said to flash to the top of the key, square up and be confident with the ball," said Greenberg, who also pulled down 3 rebounds. "Even though we were down for a long time, we knew we could turn it around."

Freshman Melissa Claver's layup off a nice assist from Greenberg made it 44-38 with 1:30 left and Claver's free throw with 28.3 seconds remaining capped the scoring.

Dammeier added 9 points and 6 rebounds for the Wildcats while classmate Hannah Dobrowski also pulled down 6 rebounds.

Kuzmanic finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 assists.

"Deanna just plays her role," Hernandez said. "This game, she might not have score as many points as she is used to, but she had a lot of assists and did other things."

Welter led BG (3-4, 0-1) with 15 points while Callahan and Courtney Meyer (3 3-pointers) each added 9.l

"We did a poor job rebounding and we didn't make our free throws (4-of-15)," Kolodziej said. "When you don't do those things, you aren't going to win many games.

"The thing we have to do is figure out how to play for four quarters. We need to play a complete game. In this conference with the schedule you play, if you don't play four quarters, you are not going to win many games."

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