Sophomore Kristina Freier added another chapter to her clutch-shooting lore for Kindred girls basketball on Saturday at Harold Newman Arena.
The freshman who hit the game-winning 3-pointer in last year's Class B state championship game at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks still has the touch. Freier's 3 from the left wing with 1.5 seconds remaining in overtime against LaMoure/Litchville-Marion kept the No. 1-ranked Vikings amongst the unbeaten at 12-0.
Kindred defeated the Loboes 64-61 in OT, pushing the defending state champion's winning streak to 26 games dating back to last season.
"I've been put in that situation a couple of times and thankfully my teammates trust me enough to give me the ball and put it up there," said Freier. "I don't know? I guess I'm just ready to take that shot."
Kindred had its hands full after leading by 15 points (45-30) in the third quarter. The Loboes forced the Vikings into eight fourth-quarter turnovers and stormed back to tie the game at 56-56 to end regulation.
LLM rifled off the last 10 points of the fourth, capped by a nearly equally impressive, game-tying 3-pointer off the hands of LLM senior Allie Hebl in the finals seconds. The Loboes (10-4) shot nearly 50% in the final frame of regulation (8 of 17) and buried four 3-pointers.
LLM's senior all-state athlete Ellie Holen scored a team-high 21 points, including seven in a fourth period won 20-9 by the Loboes.
"I think they shot the lights out," said Kindred coach Sam Brandt. "(Holen) was a stud player tonight. She's fun to watch, she's quick; she's aggressive. They really gave us a good challenge and, to be honest, they just made us better tonight."
It appeared Kindred's 25-game winning streak was over with 35 seconds to play in the four-minute overtime. LLM's Kaylynn Siedschlag had just buried her fourth 3-pointer of the contest, handing the Loboes a 61-58 advantage.
But Kindred sophomore standout Abigail Duchscherer followed with an old fashioned 3-pointer on the other end after getting to the hoop and drawing a foul.
"We battled them the whole night," said LLM coach Mitch Carlson. "They've got 6-2 (Terryn Johnson), 6-1 (Duchscherer) and they're such a tough matchup inside. We gave them some easy ones, and then all of a sudden the girls played a little better team defense and got us back in the game, forcing them into some quicker shots.
"We hit some big shots to come back into the game, but then we didn't hit the big shots in the overtime."
Kindred guards Kacie Burner and Jordyn Burner were able to tie up Holen past halfcourt and force a jump ball with 10 seconds remaining, handing possession back to Kindred with the game tied 61-61.
The Loboes then left Freier -- the wrong girl -- open.
"Straight-up clutch since she was eighth grade," Brandt said of the sophomore, who finished scoring just seven points. "What she does the majority of the game is just presence. You don't see it on the stats. It's unbelievable the character and composure she has."
Johnson, another Kindred sophomore, finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while the first-team all-state Duchscherer ended with a game-high 23 points. The Loboes were playing their fourth game in six days and will play at Carrington on Tuesday.
Carrington (10-2) defeated No. 3 Rugby (12-1) on the road, 54-41, Saturday.
"I gotta hand it to our girls. The mentality of coming back after being down to a good team like that and staying focused," Carlson said. "The girls came through and showed what they're made of."
Kindred hosts Milnor/North Sargent (7-6) on Friday.
"We need to get a little more chemistry in there offensively and get the shots that we want," Freier said. "We're just trying to focus on ourselves and work on what we can do better."
Brandt added: "It says a lot if they can take this and learn from it. (LLM) gave us a great game."
UJ Showcase at Harold Newman Arena
(1) Kindred 64, LaMoure/Litchville-Marion 61 OT
LL 19 8 9 20 5 -- 61
KIN 20 11 16 9 8 -- 64
LLM -- Ellie Holen 21, Kaylynn Siedschlag 16, Molly Musland 12, Millie Robbins 8, Allie Hebl 4. Totals: 24-56 FG, 10-23 3-pointers (Siedschlag 4, Holen 3, Musland 2, Hebl), 3-8 FT, 27 Rebounds (Musland 7, Siedschlag 7), 12 steals (Holen 4, Siedschlag 3, Robbins 3), 10 Fouls, 13 Turnovers.
KIN -- Abigail Duchscherer 23, Terryn Johnson 18, Jordyn Burner 9, Kristina Freier 7, Kacie Burner 7. Totals: 28-55 FG, 5-13 3-pointers (Burner 3, Freier, Bruner), 3-7 FT, 36 Rebounds (Johnson 13, Duchscherer 8), 6 Steals (Burner 3), 8 Fouls, 21 Turnovers.
Records: Kindred 12-0. LLM 10-4.