It was a game that brought with it much anticipation, and the result on the floor was worth the wait.
The Winona Senior High School girls basketball team held two double-digit leads throughout the game only to have Cotter make a push, but in the end, it was Winona which emerged with a nail-biting 51-48 victory in the 29th Annual Lewiston Auto Warrior Club Tournament at McCown Gymnasium on Saturday.
Winona (4-3) scored the first twelve points of the game and looked as though they might pull away for a lopsided victory, but thanks to 12 points from Gabby Bowlin in the first half, the two teams headed into the locker room tied at 23-23.
The Winhawks controlled most of the second half, building a 14-point advantage with just over five minutes to play on the strength of 21 points from Hallee Hoeppner and 10 from Danneka Voegeli, but Cotter (3-6) kept whittling away, getting key turnovers over the game’s final few minutes to pull within three.
Abby Winter hit a pair of crucial free throws with about 13.2 seconds to play before Bowlin hit a 3-pointer with 4.8 seconds left to pull the Ramblers within two, 50-48. Hoeppner then made one of two free throws with 0.6 seconds to go, but Bowlin couldn’t get a three-quarters heave off to which sealed the win for Winona.
Bowlin finished with a game-high 23 points and Kelly Vaselaar added eight for Cotter.
Winter led WSHS with five rebounds, which Mikala Nelton and Kirsten Weifenbach equaled for the Ramblers.
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