WATERTOWN, Wis. – At the end of the day the Crusaders were happy to come away with a 54-52 win despite 51 total turnovers between both teams.
After Maranatha opened the game with a 9-7 lead, both teams went the next five minutes on a scoreless drought.
Junior guard Autumn Peotter’s (Waupaca, Wis.) layup with less than a second put Maranatha ahead before halftime, 19-16.
In the second half, both teams battled through foul trouble and turnovers until Marian built what seemed to be an insurmountable 50-45 lead with two minutes left in the game.
Enter Peotter, whose late-game heroics began with a three-point play to cut the deficit to 50-48. Marian’s Alexis Baker tacked on two free throws for a 52-48 Marian lead, but a jumper by junior forward Torey DeLozier (Watertown, Wis.) cut it back down to 52-50.
After gaining possession with under a minute left, the Crusaders drained the clock down until Peotter pulled up for a three-pointer and nailed it with 10.6 left on the clock. Junior guard Hallie Nelson (Rockford, Ill.) sealed the win with a free throw with .01 seconds left in the game.
Peotter was the leading scorer for the Crusaders at 19 points while chipping in four steals. DeLozier finished with nine points and 11 rebounds for a steady presence on defense.
Sophomore center Laci Peterson’s (Chillicothe, Ill.) foul troubles did not stop her from posting two big blocks, one coming on Marian’s final possession to prevent a score. She also posted 10 points and seven rebounds.