LAKE MILLS - Luther Prep's girls basketball team held a 7-point lead with six minutes remaining.
Lakeside Lutheran cut the lead to down from there, but senior guard Sadie Schultz and sophomore forward Taylor Zellmer each made two free throws as the Phoenix won 58-57 in a Capitol North game at LLHS on Senior Night Friday.
"That was really clutch, Sadie being a 2-year varsity player and senior keeping her composure and being able to knock those free throws down," Luther Prep girls basketball coach Mark Schroeder said. "She is a very smart basketball player. Taylor did an excellent job playing defense and came up with a huge rebound at the end of the game. Worked the ball around and got fouled. Her rebounding and knocking down those free throws were big, those two free throws helped seal the game up."
Luther Prep (13-6, 6-3 in conference) sophomore forward Grace Schmidt led all scorers with 25 points and junior forward Lauren Paulsen added 19.
"We were able to get her on the block in the first half," Schroeder said of Schmidt. "Was happy the way our guards were attacking and that kept them honest so they couldn't double her up. Ana (Glisper) and Lauren both had great drives. To Lakeside's credit, they took three charges. Ana had two charges on her, that's what we were doing well was attacking the rack.
"Being able to attack from the outside when our 3s didn't connect in the first half was important. We were able to keep attacking and get them in a little foul trouble, I was happy being able to be aggressive on the drive."
The Phoenix were up seven before a turnover in the halfcourt. The Warriors made a 3-pointer on their next trip. The four Phoenix free throws were sandwiched around a 3-pointer from forward Lauren Thiele, the team's lone senior player, that kept it a 4-point game with four seconds left. Warrior junior guard Maya Heckmann hit a 3 right before the buzzer sounded, but the team was out of timeouts and the clock expired before an inbound was needed.
"Quite the high school basketball game," Lakeside Lutheran girls basketball coach Tim Matthies said. "For some critical stretches we didn't have an answer to Schmidt and Paulsen. I couldn't be prouder how the girls fought their way back in. Moving forward we'll see how tonight's adversity might bring on a future opportunity."
Junior guards Kylee Gnabasik and Kaylee Raymond each hit 3s as Lakeside (11-9, 4-4) led 9-2 early.
Phoenix senior guard Naomi Bridgemen hit the first or her two 3-pointers before Paulsen fed Schmidt in transition for a successful 3-point play.
The Warriors lead swelled to 22-13 with 8 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first stanza after 3-pointers by Raymond and juniors guards Mia Murray and Olyvia Uecker.
Paulsen hit a 3-pointer out of a timeout that cut the lead to six before a Schmidt basket made it 22-18. Paulsen knocked down a pair of bonus free throws and hit a runner in the paint, giving Luther Prep its first lead at 25-24 with five minutes left.
Freshman guard Marin Riesen had a bucket and Thiele made two free throws for the halftime margin of 31-27, Lakeside.
"It feels good to hit those big shots in your gym, those can be momentum killers for an opposing team," Schroeder said. "The girls kept their composure extremely well. We talked about that at half, 'we're down four, keep calm. We are going to knock down our shots too and everything will be fine.' They played like solid, veteran players. I was really proud of them."
Thiele, Raymond and Riesen all scored 10 points for the Warriors, who made five first-half 3-pointers and seven total. Uecker chipped in seven.
The Phoenix swept the series after entering the season having lost 21 of 22 to the Warriors, dating back to the 2008-2009.
Lakeside plays at Lodi for a rescheduled conference game on Monday at 7:30 p.m.
Luther Prep has a nonconference game at Trailways East Conference-leading Oakfield on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.
LUTHER PREP 58,
LAKESIDE LUTHERAN 57
Luther Prep 27 31 — 58
Lakeside Lutheran 31 26 — 57
Luther Prep (fg ft-fta pts) — Paulsen 7 4-4 19, Glisper 1 0-0 2, Bridgemen 2 0-1 6, G. Kieselhorst 1 0-0 2, Schmidt 10 5-11 25, Schultz 0 2-3 2, Zellmer 0 2-2 2. Totals 21 13-21 58.
Lakeside Lutheran — Slonaker 1 3-4 5, Gnabasik 2 0-0 5, M. Heckmann 1 0-0 3, Uecker 3 0-3 7, Thiele 2 5-7 10, Liddicoat 2 0-0 4, Riesen 3 4-5 10, Raymond 4 0-0 10, Murray 1 0-1 3. Totals 19 12-20 57.
3-point goals: LP, Bridgemen 2, Paulsen 1; LL, Raymond 2, Thiele 1, Uecker 1, Murray 1, M. Heckmann 1, Gnabasik 1.
Total fouls: LP 17; LL 19.
Fouled out: LP Glisper; LL Slonaker.