Thursday’s game meant a little more to the Baraboo prep girls basketball games.
A fundraiser was held for a member of the Baraboo basketball family during Thursday’s 49-40 Badger North Conference loss to visiting Mount Horeb.
The T-Birds raised money for Shelley Born, who recently found out her liver cancer had returned. Shelley is the wife of Roy Born, who resigned as an assistant coach in the Baraboo program when the disease came back.
Baraboo (2-18, 1-12 Badger North) and Mount Horeb (10-10, 4-9) created T-shirts to wear and sell, with proceeds being donated to the Born family. They also donated proceeds from chuck-a-duck as well as other fundraising efforts.
“We already had Youth Night on the calendar for this night as well, which I feel opens this life lesson to the younger players,” Baraboo assistant coach Katie Cummings said. “It will be so good for the younger kids to be able to look up to all the players to foster empathy, citizenship, as well as another side of sportsmanship.
“Mount Horeb is a true class act program. ... A night that’s about something much bigger than basketball and something I struggle to find words for.”
The crowd was also treated to a good game, as the teams traded leads until Mount Horeb took control over the final 10 minutes.
The teams were tied at 30 after Baraboo senior Autumn Klemm made two free throws with 10 minutes, 47 seconds remaining. The Vikings took over from there, closing the game with a 19-10 run to win their second straight game following a six-game losing streak.
The T-Birds notched their first Badger North win of the year with a 42-38 victory at Portage on Feb. 7. They came out strong again Thursday, as Taylor Pfaff and Carly Moon hit back-to-back 3-pointers from the left wing to tie the game at 13 with 9:20 to play in the first half.
The Vikings rebounded with a 5-0 run that included a Kenzie Coulthard 3-pointer off of a Baraboo turnover. The T-Birds went into halftime with momentum, however, as Pfaff made a step-back 3-pointer with 1:43 remaining to pull Baraboo within 20-17 going into the locker room.
The momentum carried into the second half, as the T-Birds went on a 5-0 run to open up a 22-20 lead. The game stayed within one possession until Mount Horeb took over down the stretch.
Pfaff, a freshman guard, finished with nearly half of Baraboo’s points, scoring 12 of her game-high 19 points in the second half. Klemm added nine points, while Moon had eight, and Jillian Shanks and Cece Oettinger had two apiece.
Five players also found the scoresheet for Mount Horeb: Grace Vesperman scored 13 of her team-leading 15 points in the second half, while Coulthard had 11 points, Emma Anderson had 10, Emily Wallace had eight and Olivia Yanna had five.
The Vikings swept the season series, also recording a 54-31 home win over Baraboo on Jan. 7.
Cummings said that the team initially wanted to order 30 T-shirts to show their support. That number increased to more than 200 when people in the community learned of the fundraiser.
An anonymous donor also offered to match all of the money raised for the Borns.
“It’s been truly incredible,” Cummings said of the support within the community. “I always tell my players that there are so many lessons to be learned when being on a team and, although this one is heart-wrenching, it is a powerful lesson that will stick with them and hopefully shape their empathy for others.”
The T-Birds have two regular-season games remaining, hosting a non-conference contest against Lodi on Tuesday before a Feb. 20 Badger North game at Waunakee.
MOUNT HOREB 49, BARABOO 40
Mount Horeb 20 29 — 49
Baraboo 17 23 — 40
MOUNT HOREB (fg ft-fta pts) — Vesperman 5 3-4 15, Anderson 2 6-8 10, Coulthard 4 0-2 11, Yanna 2 0-1 5, Wallace 2 2-2 8. Totals 15 11-17 49.
BARABOO — Klemm 2 5-6 9, Moon 3 0-1 8, Shanks 1 0-0 2, Pfaff 6 4-6 19, Oettinger 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 9-14 40.