Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Metamora uses 19-point comeback to defeat Peoria Notre Dame

Metamora's Alivia West goes up with Notre Dame's Lexi Snyder for the opening tip on Tuesday in Peoria. Metamora went on to win the game, 48-41. PHOTO / ALEX STAAB
Peoria, Ill. - The road trip got going on Tuesday for Metamora (7-1) (1-0), as they started off with the Irish from Peoria Notre Dame (4-4).

It was yet another slow start for the Redbirds, something that's started to become consistent over the last couple of games. All of five points were scored in the opening quarter. In fact, Metamora has been out-scored in the opening period by both of their opponents in true road games.

A three from Anne Peters and a pair of free throws from Alivia West compiled the Redbirds' scoring in the first. On the other hand, Lexi Snyder of Notre Dame proved to be a problem for Metamora right from the opening tipoff. Snyder found her way to the hoop on multiple occasions, and even popped a couple of shots from behind the arc, totaling 10 points in just the opening eight minutes.

The offense did improve for Metamora in the second quarter, but so did Notre Dame's. The Redbirds weren't able to make many shots, but they did take advantage of the free opportunities, going 7-8 from the charity stripe in the second quarter alone, a notable stat considering the Irish shot 3-9 for the entire game.

Despite the improved scoring, the Redbirds were still behind at the break, 28-16.

The deficit did not get any better when it came time for the third quarter. Notre Dame was able to work it to nearly a 20-point game. It did not take two minutes of the quarter from Metamora head coach Brianna Morrow to call a timeout. At one point, not here, Morrow was assessed a technical foul, which would be her first technical since November 24th, 2017 against Rockford East in Galesburg.

One may be able to pick from numerous instances, but perhaps that technical on Coach Morrow or the time of the timeout may have contributed to what would turn out to be one of the greatest comebacks in recent program history.

A leading factor as to why the game was at the point it was, Metamora's Reagan Begole was not in foul trouble, an issue the senior has had to deal with over the last few games. After the game, she did acknowledge that, citing the ability to play numerous minutes in the first half as the leading factor to her return to double figures in the scoring column. Tonight's 14-point performance by Begole was her first game in double figures since November 16th against Danville Schlarman in Galesburg, when she had 12.

The scoring, although it had already improved from the first to the second quarters, improved even more so in the third. Although it only came from three players, Begole scored eight of her 14 in that period. Hieronymus and Terry combined for the other four, and just like that, Metamora had the game within ten points with just a quarter to go.

The fourth quarter was something else, to say the least. Metamora would need to use all the energy it had to finish off this comeback if they really wanted it. Thankfully for Metamora fans, the comeback did not start too early.

Fatigue may have played a role in Notre Dame's effort, as well as foul trouble. As the game's minutes started to tick down, the Irish slowly got almost their entire starting lineup with three or more fouls. In fact, in a key moment of the game, Snyder, who finished with a game-high 22 points, fouled out. That didn't seal the win by any stretch, but it certainly helped the Redbirds, with Notre Dame not having a key piece like Snyder out on the floor.

An and-one from Peters was a key play for Metamora that capped off a 19-point comeback. The Redbirds would take it to the point where the Irish had to start intentionally fouling in hopes of Metamora missing some. They only missed four. In fact, Metamora went 22-27 from the line in the game, their highest number of free throws made (or attempted) in at least three seasons. In fact, going back through the 16-17 season, Metamora has never made 20 free throws in a game.

The free opportunities were just part of a quality comeback win, 48-41, over Peoria Notre Dame.

Metamora will continue the road trip at Limestone on Thursday.

Metamora Scoring: Reagan Begole (14), Alana Terry (12), Alivia West (8), Anne Peters (6), Kaylee Hieronymus (6), Katie Lalumandier (2)

Metamora Team Stats: 10 2's, 2 3's, 22-27 FTs, 14 points, 48 points

Metamora Individual Leaders:
2's | Reagan Begole (4)
3's | Anne Peters & Reagan Begole (1 each)
FTs | Alivia West (8-10)

Next Game:
Thursday, December 6th
@ Limestone Rockets
5:30 pm (Sophomores) & 7:00 pm (Varsity)
TV | MTCO Redbird Replay
Updates | @MetamoraGBB

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