Dakota, Aquin girls share NUIC North championship
After going down 10-0 to start the game and trailing 25-10 after the first quarter, Dakota battled back and beat Durand 60-59 in overtime thanks to a Kaylyn Field three-pointer with less than 10 seconds remaining to earn a share of the NUIC North championship.
"I just, can't even process it all right now. Because we're just so happy that we pulled out that win," said Field.
The Indians used a big second quarter to head into halftime tied at 32. Each team traded blows in the third and despite not hitting a field goal in the fourth, Dakota forced overtime after a free throw by Lexi Brashaw with 23 seconds left in regulation.
The final minute of overtime was heart pounding. Durand junior Sara Steder hit a jumper with less than 30 seconds to play to give the Bulldogs a two-point lead. Dakota head coach Kevin Cline declined to use his final timeout and let the girls play it out. Tabytha Toelke dribbled into the lane and kicked it out to Field who buried the three as time dwindled down. The senior finished with a game-high 16 points.
Durand had to go the length of the court for a chance to win it with five seconds left. Senior Lyly Moore passed it to Jenna Steder on the right wing. The junior hit the shot, but the ball did not leave her hand before the clock hit :00.
"It's the greatest feeling right now," said Rankin. "I'm so happy we can come and do it in this gym and take it against this team, I mean, it's a great feeling."
After beating Aquin on Tuesday, Dakota needed a win tonight to earn a share of the conference championship. It's the Indians' first conference title since 2012.
"It's been a while since we've been able to finish up at the top of the conference," said head coach Kevin Cline. "We got a couple regional titles in there. But the conference, it's pretty special, it's a body of work. Something you work two and a half months to do. So it was pretty nice to get that and feel good for all the girls."