After a two week hiatus from the schedule, the Spartans took to the home court for last time this season with the intent of finishing several story lines. First, Turpin looked to earn their 10th win of the season while ending a three game skid. In addition, the team was back to full strength for the first time since before Christmas. Most notably was the return of Tess Herzog to the line-up. Less than two months removed from brain surgery, Herzog wasted little time in making an impact as she scored the first two baskets of the game. Also returning from injury was Chloe Smith and she got in on the act with a steal and layup as the Spartans started strong.
After a Winton Woods basket, Herzog struck again for two off an assist from Corinne Nikolai. Nikolai finished the scoring for the 1st quarter on an inbounds play with the assist from Natalie Rowland. Turpin led 10-2 going into the 2nd quarter with the Spartan guards dictating play. Allison Christopher had two steals but more importantly was assigned to guard Winton Woods best guard, Kayla H. Katie Osborne had a steal and two defensive rebounds while Chloe Smith coaxed Kayla H. into three first half fouls which would prove to be vital point later on in the contest.
Erin Reed took a pass from Ashley Mountain and opened up the 2nd with a three pointer as the Spartans enjoyed their largest lead of the game, 13-2. However, the offense went into hibernation the remainder of the 2nd and 3rd quarter as well. Winton Woods managed to go on a mini 5-0 run to end the half as Turpin led 13-7.
Both teams could only manage single free throws in the 3rd. Although the Spartans got some high quality shots, they couldn't convert. The two week layoff may have explained the offensive futility, but the Spartan defense was sound. The visitors did not have a basket in the 3rd as well while turning the ball over several times.
Emma Schulok took a pass from Maggie Argus and ended the scoring drought early in the 4th as Turpin led 16-8. Again, the visitors went on a 6-0 run to make it a two point game with two minutes to play. Meanwhile, Christopher baited Kayla H. into fouling her a mid-court – her 5th foul and the visitors leading scorer was done for the day. But the visitors were not finished just yet. Turpin was getting some good looks at the basket while the Winton Woods pressure was creating havoc.
With both teams making defense stops the entire 2nd half, Winton Woods managed to tie the game at 16 with less than a minute to play. The Spartans answered instantly! The press break worked seamlessly as Chloe Smith found herself at mid court in front of the scorer's table. Then, she lofted a splendid pass to Tess Herzog who was on the right block. Herzog scored to take back the lead. In a frenzy, the visitors tried to work a good shot but the Spartan guards would have none of it. After a missed shot and a scrum, Smith emerged with the ball and was immediately fouled with less than a second remaining. Smith calmly drained both foul shots to seal it.
Final score THS 20 - WWHS 16.
Scoring line: Schulok 2; Herzog 8; Nikolai 2; Smith 5; Reed 3
The Spartans finish the year at the Western Brown tournament Wednesday and Thursday of this week.