Last-minute heroics lead Lady Tigers’ 45-43 win


For the Call

It was a case of good news-bad news last week for the Oakville Senior High girls’ basketball team.

The good news was the Tigers’ (10-5, 1-3 Suburban West) 45-43 win at home over conference-rival Kirkwood. The win gave the Tigers their first win in Suburban West Conference competition since joining the league this season.

Despite the nail-biting win, the Tigers received some bad news last week. Junior center Sherry Zehner likely will undergo surgery on Jan. 28 for what appears to be a torn rotator cuff.

Zehner’s injury the week prior to the Kirkwood game was not enough to keep her off the court, however. She scored eight points in the win against Kirkwood, six of which came from three-point range.

“I can’t say enough about Sherry,” Oak-ville head coach Paul Harrington told the Call. “She loves the game and is such a big part of this team as our co-captain. She wants to play so badly that she’s willing to play through the pain.”

The Tigers jumped out to a 14-13 advantage after one quarter of play before Kirk-wood took a 26-22 lead at halftime. The Pioneers extended their lead to 38-27 at the end of the third quarter. But the Tigers clawed their way back in the fourth quarter by outscoring Kirkwood 18-5 en route to the two-point victory.

“It was a wild up-and-down game,” Har-rington said. “The Kirkwood game was a lot like the Webster Groves game this year. It was an emotional win against a good quality team.”

Oakville’s Stephanie Dippold led the Tigers with 11 points, two assists and one steal in the come-from-behind win. Dippold has had the hot hand lately, scoring in double figures in four of her last six games.

“Ever since the beginning of the season, she’s come along further in every game,” Harrington said. “She’s really played consistently and has gotten better all season long.”

But the last-minute heroics of Megan Reel clinched the Tigers’ win. The junior guard scored five of her 11 points in the final minute of play, including the game-winning bucket. She also had four re-bounds, two assists and one steal.

“Something has clicked with her because she’s been working really hard in practice,” Harrington said. “She’s filled the leadership role that’s been open for her all season and I’m really proud of her.”

The Tigers travel to Lindbergh Friday for a 7 p.m. game with conference implications.

“We’re well aware of the importance of that game,” Harrington said. “We feel as if it’s a big rivalry game for us. It’s a game that our kids always look forward to.”