Schoolcraft edged Gobles 42-41 in Tuesday’s girls basketball regional semifinal, finally taking the lead for good in the final minute of play. The home win for the Eagles avenged their district loss from last season to the Tigers, setting up a third meeting this year between Schoolcraft and Hackett Catholic in Thursday’s regional championship.
Savannah Seath’s three-pointer with 59 seconds remaining gave the Eagles a 37-36 lead. It was a huge bucket for the senior, who missed almost all of this season after suffering a knee injury in last year’s district battle. Schoolcraft twice rallied from a three-possession hole as the Tigers were ahead for the majority of the game.
It was a game of swings throughout the night. Gobles opened with a 6-0 run, followed by five straight from Eagle Allie Walther. The Tigers answered that with an 8-0 close to the first quarter for the game’s biggest lead of nine points. Schoolcraft erased that hole and had their biggest lead of five in the second quarter, but Gobles battled back and tied the game at halftime 20-20.
The Tigers shut the Eagles down in the third quarter, outscoring them 10-2 for another eight-point lead. Schoolcraft then posted an 8-0 run over the first two minutes of the fourth quarter to tie the game back up at 30-30. Libbee Nason quickly put Gobles back ahead and they stayed ahead over the next five minutes, including a 36-31 advantage with three minutes left.
Gabi Saxman drained a three with 2:10 to go to get the Eagles within two. The Tigers drained some time, then Saxman forced a tie-up with Schoolcraft getting possession on the arrow. On the ensuing possession, Seath sank her third triple of the night with a minute remaining to give the Eagles the lead.
After a timeout, Gobles was unable to inbound before the five count. The Tigers immediately fouled Saxman after the Schoolcraft inbound and sent her to the line on the bonus. She hit both shots for a three-point lead, followed by a Gobles miss and more free throws soon after for Saxman.
She sank both shots again, but the Tigers stayed alive on a Nason three-pointer. After another foul, Saxman split the pair to put the score 42-39 with 16 seconds to go. Gobles missed two three-pointers and scored on a put-back two just before the horn, but with no Eagle foul, it wasn’t enough to tie the game and force overtime.
Nason hit the final bucket and finished with a game-high 19 points. She and Christiana Hunt are the two graduating seniors for the Tigers, who close the season at 19-4. It was their first regional appearance since 2016.
Saxman led Schoolcraft with 13 points, getting 11 in the fourth quarter. Allie Walther had 10 and Seath scored nine, pushing the Eagles to 21-2 on the season.
Schoolcraft will play in the regional championship for the third time in four years Thursday as they host Hackett Catholic at 6 p.m. ET. You can listen to Thursday’s finale live via JoeInsider.com. Hackett beat defending regional champ Brandywine 49-43 in the first semifinal Tuesday.
The Eagles defeated the Irish in the 2017 and 2018 regional semifinals. This season, Schoolcraft won tight 29-26 and 41-32 affairs en route to a SAC Valley title.
Gabi Saxman 13 points
Allie Walther 10 points
Savannah Seath 9 points
Mackenzie Miller 5 points
Anna Schuppel 3 points
Adrienne Rosey 2 points
Free Throws: 10-16
Three Pointers: 6
Libbee Nason 19 points
Christiana Hunt 9 points
Mckenzie Lisowski 5 points
Karlee Henderson 4 points
Amanda Barber 3 points
Emily Baxter 1 point
Free Throws: 8-16
Three Pointers: 5