It was only five days prior to the Feb. 25 postseason opener for Horizon women’s basketball that senior Olivia Waufle hit the go-ahead basket against rival Legacy with less than five seconds …
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It was only five days prior to the Feb. 25 postseason opener for Horizon women’s basketball that senior Olivia Waufle hit the go-ahead basket against rival Legacy with less than five seconds remaining. Last Tuesday against Eaglecrest, Waufle - as she has most of the season - came up clutch in the final quarter to advance her team to the second round after a comeback 60-54 victory.
“This is what she (Waufle) has wanted her whole career,” Horizon coach Dan Doehler said with a smile after the affair. “To be able to step up there as a senior in a playoff game to ice the game for us was amazing. I told the girls in the locker room in the locker room I have Liv Waufle, they don’t, that’s why we won the basketball game.”
Sinking two free-throws with 12 seconds left to extend the Horizon lead to 58-54, Waufle’s 14 points in the quarter was just one shy of Eaglecrest as a team in that span. Outscoring the Lady Raptors in three of the four quarters, the success for the Lady Hawks started early in the first quarter, though.
Scoring their first 12 points, all on 3-pointers (four of them), a 4-point play the next possession by sophomore Britta Cardenas put the home team’s lead at 16-10 before Eaglecrest adjusted from a zone to man-to-man defense.
“We saw on film that they will give up three’s and wanted to get their big kids to come out and guard us. I know I have four, five amazing 3-point shooters, and we wanted a quick start,” Doehler said. “We wanted to punch them in the mouth first, and that was a huge part of our success.”
The size, however, of the road team did give the Lady Hawks fits in the following quarter as Eaglecrest took their first lead at 28-27 since a 6-3 advantage just two minutes and 36 seconds into the contest. Taking advantage of their noticeable height advantage in the second, things changed in the third in large part to a defensive scheme change along with forcing turnovers to get out and run.
“In the second quarter, it was kind of a different story. They let their post play kind of dictate what we do. We really didn’t have the matchups to counter that, but we weathered the storm a little bit, regrouped, and went to a zone in the second half. We wanted to try and clog it up in the paint.”
Helping clog the paint, junior Peyton Noles, and sophomore Alyssa Temple came off the bench and supplied size and rebounding to the Lady Hawks’ interior to slow down the downhill driving style of Eaglecrest.
“To be able to have Peyton come off the bench for us like that when she didn’t get a lot of minutes in our Legacy game was huge for us,” Doehler said. “She was able to get offensive rebound after offensive rebound after offensive rebound, put it back, put it back before getting the whistle. She did some good things for us, even defensively down here was able to box-out, make them one and done. Peyton played a huge role in our success.”
Settling down in the third, the fourth is when Doehler went back to his smaller lineup that extends the floor. In doing so, open lanes for driver Waufle created space for the veteran to work and have a fourth-quarter to remember.
“Olivia Waufle took over in the fourth quarter. That’s what she does, and with her dropping 23 in her last game here at this court is going to be memorable for her, (seniors) CC (Denava) and Karlie (Gonzalez).”
Temple and senior Sidney Wickham followed Waufle with eight points as sophomore Audra Vine and Cardenas recorded seven apiece. Noles tallied a team-leading eight rebounds followed by seven from Waufle. Vine led the team with four assists as Cardenas had five steals.
Against Cherry Creek in round No. 2, the Lady Bruins ended Horizon’s season with a 77-55 victory.
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