BRIDGMAN — Bridgman sophomore Lily Badger was open under the basket with just 15 seconds remaining on Dec. 11 when Savanna Tate got her the basketball.
Her ensuing scoop shot broke up a 37-all tie with New Buffalo, and ended up providing the winning margin in a hard-fought battle.
“I just kind of took my chance … It doesn’t seem real.” Badger said after the game.
There were seven lead changes in the fourth quarter alone and the largest lead of the contest was eight points (New Buffalo was up 19-11 at the end of the second quarter).
The host Bees built a 9-4 first-period lead as Sydney Payne scored her team’s first six points and Kaitlin Essig added a basket.
Both Payne and New Buffalo’s Abby Vitale got in early foul trouble, limiting their minutes as the game went on. Payne would foul out at the 3:35 mark of the fourth quarter.
Nadia Collins sparked a score-tying second-stanza New Buffalo rally with a steal and a hoop, an offensive rebound and put-back, and a free throw.
Scores by Vitale, Mary Mayer and Olivia Haskins (a three-point shot) completed a 15-2 Bison run through the quarter, leaving the score 19-11 at half-time.
Bridgman battled back in the third period, with field goals by Payne and Savanna Tate (a “3”) plus trips to the free-throw line by Essig and Mackenzie Norris helping the home team surge on top 22-21.
Late scores by Payne and Mayer left the game tied at 24-24 heading into the fourth quarter.
Tate sank a long 2-point shot to begin the final period, and the lead bounced back and forth from there until Badger tallied the game’s final points.
Baskets by Mayer, Vitale and Haskins helped New Buffalo take a 30-28 advantage, but a late Ali Kelly field goal, a pair of Essig foul shots and Tate’s one-handed jumper lifted the Bees on top 37-35.
Vitale’s steal and lay-up with 1:37 showing on the clock pulled New Buffalo even at 37-all.
After Badger’s score the Bison took one last shot, but the ball caromed off the rim and the Bees secured the rebound.
Essig said she focused on driving to the basket late in the game, expecting either gat a lay-up or draw a foul.
Payne paced a balanced Bridgman attack with 10 points. Essig scored 9 points, Tate had 8 points and Norris tallied 7 points.
Mayer led the Bison with 13 points while Collins scored 10.
Bridgman won the junior varsity game 28-19.
Olivia Tomlin (10 points), Jalynn Krieger and Arie Hackett (6 points each) led the Bees in scoring.
Aaron James (8 points) and Georgia Arvanitis (7 points) paced the Bison.