WAUPUN — Carly Schroeder was wrong.
And she’s glad she was.
“Actually, I thought it felt awful,” the senior guard on Mayville’s prep girls basketball team said of her late 3-pointer Tuesday night vs. Central Wisconsin Christian. “It was really flat — but it went in.’”
Schroeder’s 3 — for her only points of the game and Mayville’s only made field goal from beyond the arc — with 8 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Cardinals to a thrilling 54-53 win over the Crusaders in a matchup where there were nine lead changes in the final 22 minutes of this non-conference game.
The last one belonged to Mayville (9-3), whose head coach wasn’t as worried about that game-winning 3-pointer going in as Schroeder was.
“As soon as she let it go, I knew it was in,” said Liz Cook, who called the play for Schroeder to come off a ball screen at the top of the key and either pull up and shoot, drive to the basket for a layup, pass into the post to 6-foot junior Sydney Schultz, or pass to the corner to Whitney Liegl.
For her part, Schroeder said she pulled the trigger on shooting the 3 because when she looked inside to Schultz, the Crusaders (8-2) had her double-teamed.
“We challenged the shot, she just made it,” CWC head coach Charlie Mulder said, admitting that his team was indeed most concerned with keeping Schultz from getting an easy game-tying look inside.
Both sides wrestled hard for momentum in the second half and overtime, it just wasn’t to be as Ol’ Mo stayed pretty much in the middle — thus resulting in the nine lead changes after halftime and no lead greater than CWC’s 42-37 advantage on a basket in the paint by Melissa Van Den Berg with 9:55 to go in regulation.
“Our coach tells us to handle the runs — don’t let it get in your head, don’t think about the score, just keep playing our game and pushing on offense,” Schroeder said of why it was her Cardinals were always able to punch back. “And I think we executed that really well.”
“It was two good teams. Both teams clamped down defensively, in the second half especially,” Mulder added of why the game remained so close throughout. “They took us out of our flow a little bit on offense. Their guards pressured really well.”
In fact, it was defense down the stretch that allowed the Cardinals to leave town with the victory.
Van Den Berg — who led CWC with 17 points — scored on a bucket inside with 3:12 to go in overtime that gave the Crusaders a 51-49 lead.
But they didn’t score for two more minutes, allowing Mayville’s Rachel Wagner — who led all scorers with 21 points — to hit a jumper with 1:30 remaining that tied things up again at 51-51.
Another bucket by Van Den Berg with 1:10 left gave CWC the lead at 53-51, but more good defense by the Cards made sure it stayed a one-possession game and paved the way for Schroeder’s big shot.
“We forced them into tough shots,” Cook said of her team’s defense in the second half and overtime. “We knew they were a good shooting team so we closed out hard, and then we rebounded — those few key rebounds at the end were huge.”
MAYVILLE 54, CENTRAL WISCONSIN CHRISTIAN 53 (OT)
Mayville 30 19 5 – 54
CWC 28 21 4 – 53
MAYVILLE (54) – Kennah Konrad 3, Whitney Liegl 2, Alaina Wagner 4, Carly Schroeder 3, Chloe Welak 2, Rachel Wagner 21, Sydney Schultz 12, Amber Schraufnagel 7. TOTALS (FGM FTM-FTA PTS): 24 5-12 54.
CWC (53) – Brenna Groenewold 14, Autumn Zuhlke 6, Melissa Van Den Berg 17, Claire Jansen 3, Courtney De Vries 7, Makayla De Young 6. TOTALS (FGM FTM-FTA PTS): 22 2-10 53.
3-pointers: Mayville 1 (Carly Schroeder 1), CWC 7 (Brenna Groenewold 4, Autumn Zuhlke 2, Melissa Van Den Berg 1). Total fouls: Mayville 13, CWC 13. Fouled out: None.