EP’s Emma Camper (5) contests a shot against Princeton on Monday night. Camper had two clutch three-point baskets in the final 11 seconds of the game to take it to overtime.
Camper's Two Triples Stuns Princeton (video)23:44 PM February 04, 2019
Playing the same team twice in three days can lead to some surprising outcomes. That axiom held true on Monday night in Prophetstown as the EP Panthers hosted the Princeton Tigers in a first round IHSA Regional game. The Panthers soundly defeated Princeton on Saturday afternoon by 17 points to capture the Three Rivers Athletic Conference East title, but the Tigers were not about to see a repeat of Saturday’s result and took the Panthers into overtime only to come up short as EP got the win 55-51 on the strength of two 3-point buckets by Emma Camper in the final 11 seconds of regulation.
From the outset Princeton displayed a no quit attitude, out hustling the Panthers and willing all the breaks to go their way. The Tigers grabbed the momentum at the end of the first quarter as Taylor Quiram hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Tigers an 11-10 lead. Quiram had 10 points in the first quarter and ended the night with 23.
Neither team scored for the first two minutes of the second quarter until the Panthers McKenzie Glassburn hit a free-throw to tie the game at 11. The Panther defense forced several turnovers but struggled to convert them into points. What looked to be a game changing moment for the Panthers came with three minutes remaining in the second quarter when senior standout Skylar Steimle left the game with a knee injury and did not return. “Skylar's’s been one of our best players both offensively and defensively all season, and that’s 12 points and 7 rebounds we were missing,” said coach Julie Schroeder-Ganz. Bench players Baylee Anderson and Kara Schipper stepped up for the Panthers to fill the void with Anderson contributing nine points on the night.
The Tigers continued to play well and built a 19-15 halftime lead. The third quarter saw Princeton extend their lead to 7 points when a Tiger three-point shot completely missed the rim but landed in the hands of Jacey Jensen for an easy put back. Baylee Anderson then hit a three-ball to draw the Panthers within 2 with a minute and a half left in the third quarter. The Tigers continued to work their magic as they collected three consecutive offensive rebounds before McKenzie Hecht got the put back and foul to give the Tigers a 29-24 lead after three quarters.
The Panthers suffered through a 4 ½ minutes scoring drought between the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth quarter. The game seemed all but over as the Tigers took a 13 point lead with just 3 ½ minutes remaining in the contest.
EP put together a 10-0 run over the next two minutes with 6 of the points coming at the free throw line. The teams then traded pairs of free throws to put the Tigers up 42-39 lead with 41 seconds remaining. Princeton committed a critical mistake on their next possession as Quiram committed a lane violation on her teammate’s one and one free-throw. The made free-throw was wiped out and the ball was given back to the Panthers.
On their ensuing possession the Tigers converted a free-throw to make it a 43-39 game with 25 seconds remaining. Panther sophomore Emma Camper canned a three-point shot from the right side of the key to make it a one-point game with 11 seconds remaining. The Panthers immediately fouled on the inbounds play and the Tigers converted to take a three-point lead, but Camper drove the length of the court and found enough room, from almost the same spot on the floor, to launch a three ball that found nothing but net to send the game into overtime.
Camper took over the game for EP as she opened the extra period with a three-point play. She then proceeded to add another driving bucket and 3 free throws to give the Panthers the win. “Emma had the key shots to get us into overtime. We then went into the spread offense and she took over and we made our free throws,” said Schroeder-Ranz. “Her growth has been impressive and I’m super proud of her.”
The coach added, “I’m super proud of our whole team for not giving up. It was an easy game to say Skylar got hurt, were done, and walk away,”
Camper led the Panthers with 22 including 10 of 12 from the free-throw line. Baylee Anderson had nine, Olivia-Hope Toppert also had 9 including 5 of 5 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. Jenna Saad added 8 points in the Panthers shot 20 of 25 from the free-throw line, missing just one free throw in the fourth quarter and overtime.
The Panthers will take on Sherrard on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.
You can see the final few minutes of the game and the overtime session below.