Round Lake edges Grant in OT
The Round Lake girls basketball team has been no stranger to close games this season. The Panthers were in another one in the Northern Lake County Conference and edged rival Grant 49-46 in overtime on Tuesday night in Round Lake.
Sophomore Lilli Burton (13 points) scored all 7 Panther points in the extra session that included a 3-pointer, a layup and she sealed it with 2 free throws in the final 4 seconds.
"I really wanted to finish the game, because we're going against our rival," said Burton, who also had 10 rebounds. "I felt like I wasn't doing much during the game and I wanted to finish it out at the end for the team. I kind of had some anger. The team really makes me better, but I feel like I've grown as a player from last year."
Round Lake (3-4, 3-4) had a comfortable 26-16 lead at the break, only to see Grant chip it down to a point at 31-30 after three quarters.
The Bulldogs were led by Cora Hughs with a team-high 15 points and 7 steals. Macalyn Flores (7 points) made a layup with just over 3 minutes left for a 39-35 Grant lead.
Amari Cole scored 7 of her career-high 21 points that brought the Panthers back to a 42-42 tie at the end of regulation.
"We worked so hard at the beginning of the game, it would be so hard to give it up," said Cole, who pulled down 12 rebounds. "I just did it for the team and not myself. I had a lot of adrenaline that helped me push through. I know the team feeds off of it."
Round Lake was without Taylor Major who was out with an injury.
"It was a hard-fought battle," Round Lake coach Molly Hennig said. "We've been in a number of games this year and every one has been close. At least we have had a chance to play."
Grant (4-5, 3-4) had four of its players out with injuries -- Melissa Ketter, Jazzlyn Linbo, Catie Thomas and Kylie Whyte.
Still, the Bulldogs kept clawing away and nearly pulled out a victory.
"I do love the effort these girls put in every day," Grant coach Anna Bartels said. "We really dug ourselves a hole in that first quarter. Once they get on a roll, these girls know how to get things going. A lot of these girls are new together. We do also have a lot of starters out with injuries."