POTOSI — Potosi senior Sophie Langkamp proved size doesn’t always matter, coming up with the biggest game of her career to lead the Chieftains to a 65–59 overtime victory over the bigger Braves.
As Potosi’s tallest player, listed generously at 5-foot-9, Langkamp is used to playing against girls two, three or four inches taller on a nightly basis. Last Thursday’s Six Rivers West conference game against Belmont was no different, as the Braves had three starters taller than 5’10’. Langkamp poured in a game and career-high 25 points, five in the extra session, and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds in the Potosi win.
The Chieftains outscored the Braves 6–0 in the extra session after junior Abby Kasier tied the game with 53 seconds left and Belmont survived a pair of Belmont misses in the paint in the final 30 seconds.
The Chieftains also pulled out the win without senior point guard Brooke McKillip, who fouled out late in regulation.
Potosi improved to 5–5 overall and 2–2 in conference with the win, while Belmont fell to 5–5, 1–2.
Junior Hannah Udelhoven hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Chieftains an early 6–0. Belmont scored the next four baskets to take a brief two-point lead, but Potosi went on a 13–4 run to build a 19–12 advantage on back-to-back baskets by junior guard Abby Kaiser.
Belmont junior Briana Ernst hit a pair of free throws with 3:29 left in the half to end Potosi’s run and ignite a 13–0 Belmont spurt that spilled over into the second half.
The Braves caught fire from beyond the arc early in the second half to extend their lead. Sophomore Abby Althaus hit back-to-back 3-pointers and senior point guard Paige Nolan hit her second triple of the half with 14:56 left to push Belmont’s lead to nine at 34–25.
Langkamp answered with a 3-pointer of her own and McKillip hit a pair of free throws to keep Potosi in the game, but Nolan hit her third triple of the half to make it 46–38 with 8:45 left.
In a game of big runs, Potosi responded with a 17–4 push to take a 55–50 lead with 4:13 remaining. Langkamp made four straight free throws and scored on a nice pass from Kaiser, then Udelhoven converted a fast break layup after a Kaiser steal to make to give Potosi’s its first lead since the first half at 48–46 with 6:20 remaining. The Chieftains pushed their lead to five at 55–50 with four minutes to play on another Langkamp layup set up by Kaiser.
Sophomore Nicole Knebel hit Belmont’s sixth 3-pointer of the second half a minute later and senior center Caitlyn Gilbertson made a pair of free throws to tie the game at 55–55 with 2:25. Ernst made a pair to give the Braves a two-point led.
Kasier tied the game again with 1:37 left and two more free throws from Gilbertson gave the Braves a 59–57 lead with 1:17 left. After both team missed a pair of free throws, Kaiser again tied the game with 53 seconds left on a tough driving layup after going grabbing a defensive rebounds and going coast to coast.
The Braves missed a pair of shots in the lane with roughly 30 seconds left. Kaiser’s potential game-winner was blocked by Gilbertson with 4.2 seconds to play and Langkamp missed at the buzzer with junior Kassandra Palzkill and a trio of Braves applying heavy pressure.
Langkamp converted a three-point play 20 seconds into overtime as Gilbertson fouled out. She scored again two minutes later on another great pass from Kasier. Kaiser added a free throw with 23 seconds left to account for the final score. Kaiser finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Udelhoven scored a season-high 11 points in the win. McKillip added seven points for Potosi.
Ernst, who went 9 for 9 from the line in the game, finished with a team-high 17 points to lead the Braves. Gilbertson added 13 points and Nolan scored a season-high 11 points in the loss.
“It was definitely a tough loss [Thursday] night,” said Belmont head coach Alan Seabroke. “We were ahead at halftime and scored 39 points in the second half. Under that scenario, you would like to think the outcome would be a win. But in an overtime loss, many things can be the difference. We had a few defensive breakdowns that are fixable. Offensively, we need to execute our plays more efficiently.
“We also left at least 14 points on the floor in missed shots right at the basket. The thing that hurt us the most though was foul trouble. We had chances to blow the game open, but just couldn’t do it. We will work to fix the mistakes and build on the things we did well.”
Belmont will travel to Cassville (6–6, 2–2 SRW) Friday night. Potosi will also return to action Friday with a road game at second-place Benton (6–3, 3–1 SRW).
Potosi 65, Belmont 59 (OT)
(from Thursday, Jan. 5 @ Potosi)
Belmont 20 39 0 — 59
Potosi 19 40 6 — 65
Belmont (5–5, 1–2) — Abby Althaus 8, Trinity Rucker 2, Nicole Knebel 3, Kassandra Palzkill 5, Briana Ernst 17, Caitlyn Gilbertson 13, Paige Nolan 11. Totals – 19 14-21 59.
Potosi (5–6, 2–2) — Abby Kaiser 17, Brittany Horner 3, Brooke McKillip 7, Sophie Langkamp 25, Toni Pluemer 2, Hannah Udelhoven 11. Totals — 23 14-28 65.
3-point goals — Pot: ; Pec: 0. Team fouls — B: 20, P: 25. Fouled out — B: Gilbertson; P: McKillip.