Stoughton senior Delaney Seidel saw a silver lining after the Vikings’ late comeback fell short in a 62-60 loss to Homestead in the Cardinal Holiday Classic on Friday, Dec. 27, at Middleton High School.
“I think it shows that we don’t give up,” said Seidel, who scored a team-high 12 points. “Even if we are down, we keep on fighting and keep a positive attitude and outlook on the game.”
Stoughton (2-6) rallied from a 10-point deficit late in the second half. The Vikings turned to a press and scored points off turnovers. Senior Myranda Kotlowski came up with a steal and layup to cut Homestead’s lead to 60-53 with 1:44 left. Kotlowski converted another layup, and senior Megan Marggi knocked down two free throws to slice Homestead’s lead to 60-57.
Homestead (7-2) had trouble closing the door on the Vikings, making just 2 of 8 free throws in the final 40 seconds. Stoughton sophomore Ava Loftus drilled a 3-pointer with 4.8 seconds to go to cut the Highlanders’ lead to two.
Stoughton tried to foul after the ensuing inbounds pass, but the Vikings did not have a time out left and the buzzer sounded.
“I don’t consider us a pressing team, but we kind of had to pick the pace up a little bit out of necessity,” Stoughton coach Brad Pickett said. “We gave ourselves a chance, and that’s all you can ask for is that opportunity.”
The Vikings have lost two straight games and are 1-2 in games decided by three points or less.
Sophomore Mya Davidson posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Kotlowski added nine points, and Micah Zaemisch had seven points and eight rebounds.
Stoughton hurt itself with 20 turnovers.
The Highlanders went on a 12-2 run in the second half to open up a 10-point lead. Homestead junior McKenna Marotta hit two 3s during the surge, and senior Grace Meuller drilled a 3 to make it 59-49 with 2:37 left.
“We turned it over a couple of times and they pushed the ball a little bit more and got some easy baskets in transition,” Pickett said. “They made some shots in that stretch.”
The Vikings scored the game’s first 11 points, as Davidson had five and Zaemisch had four during the spurt.
Homestead battled back and took a 22-20 lead on freshman Delaney Buzzell’s layup with 3:59 left in the first half. Stoughton took advantage of a 20-13 rebounding edge in the first half to lead 29-25 at intermission.