WATERTOWN, Wis. – It was smooth sailing for Maranatha’s first Northern Athletics Conference Tournament, defeating the Concordia Chicago Cougars 67-50 on Saturday evening to advance to the semifinals next Thursday.
Two quick three’s by senior guard Autumn Peotter (Waupaca, Wis.) and junior center Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, Ill.) sparked the team to an early 11-3 lead at 16:31 in the first half.
Maranatha distributed the scoring on good ball movement with Kristin Morrison (Jefferson, Wis.) and Peterson each going 2-2 from three-point range. The team shot 40% from beyond the arc and had its largest lead of the first, 39-25, cut short on a buzzer-beating three by Concordia.
Peterson kicked off the second period with a jumper and a layup and the lead continued to climb before climaxing at 23 points. The Sader defense also clamped down on the Cougars’ Jessica Genke, who finished with 19 points after posting 13 in the first half.
Genke helped her team to a 32-24 advantage on points in the paint as the Cougars shot 34% in the game.
Saturday also marked the last home game of the season for seniors; Hallie Sheley (Rockford, Ill.), Morrison, Torey DeLozier (Watertown, Wis.) and Autumn Peotter (Waupaca, Wis.).
Each senior has played four years and capped their careers with their first conference tournament in the sports’ history since joining the conference in 2006.
With the win, Maranatha’s game against Concordia Wisconsin takes place on Thursday, February 21 at 7:00 p.m. #2 Concordia Wisconsin handed the #7 Rockford Regents a 72-54 loss, and face a Crusaders team they split with during the regular season.
Tournament information can be found here.