LE MARS - The 9th ranked Le Mars Gehlen girls battled back from a 27-18 halftime deficit to ring up a scintillating, double-overtime 61-53 Class 1A Regional quarterfinal win over War Eagle Conference foe, 8th rated Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn here tuesday night.
The two rivals split regular season games, the Jays winning at home by two points and losing in overtime in Marcus, but it was Gehlen claiming the third hotly-contested game this night.
Erica Dreckman led the Eagles with 24 points, despite being bottled up by two and three defenders much of the night, and Kayla Foresman tallied 19 hard-earned points.
Amber Timmins paced the Jays with 22 points, and Katelin Langel scored 20, and Steph Rohe 11 for the three-pronged Gehlen offense.
The MMC cause was crippled in the late going after Foresman and inside force Jalyn Doeden were whistled to the bench with five fouls each. Dreckman and starting guard carly Lehnhoff played the final minutes with four fouls each, and Sarah Bird came off the bench to replace regular starter Anna Wilcox who was out with illness.
MMC sank 25-63 field goals for 40 percent, including just 1-8 for three-balls, and converted just 2-10 free throws, while the home Jays netted a whopping 21-32 foul shots for an inexplicable 19-point differential.
Le Mars made 19-51 shots for 37 percent, and was 2-6 from the three-point line.
Foresman had 11 rebounds for a double-double, and Doeden snagged seven and Dreckman five for MMC. Timmins grabbed 18 boards to pace the Jays.
MMC's Bailee Nelson sent the game into the first overtime on a basket with under 10 seconds left in regulation.
"What a game," said a disappointed MMC coach Tim Dreckman, who did not mention the huge free throw difference in the game. "We had our chances. It just didn't work out. Foul trouble got the best of us.
"All I can say is the girls played their hearts out and the way we played all season tells the rest of the story. I thank all the fans for all their support all year and for being part of this program this year.
"It's sad to see it come to an end, but I'm very proud of each and every one of these girls, the parents, the fans, and my family."
Gehlen (19-3) plays a Regional semifinal tonight in Laurens against Algona Garrigan (14-10). MMC ends its spectacular season at 20-4 with the WEC Championship.