(Red Oak) Red Oak overcame a double digit first quarter deficit to defeat Atlantic and move on in regional tournament play. Atlantic came out firing with one of their best offensive quarters of the season. The Trojans netted 21 points in the opening frame led by Erin Olsen who hit three shots from beyond the arc. At the same time, the Trojans first quarter defense was also solid holding Red Oak to just 10 points, thanks to a double team on Tiger's leading scorer Kate Walker.
Atlantic would build the lead slightly early in the second quarter before Red Oak came roaring back. The Tigers would finish the second quarter with a huge run that proved to be the difference in the game. Red Oak's 22-2 spurt was led by Walker who finished the first half with 15 points. The run gave Red Oak a 36-28 halftime.
Red Oak controlled the third quarter, maintaining an 8-12 point lead. Early in the fourth quarter, with Red Oak up 48-42, the Tigers elected hold the ball and run the clock. They took over two minutes off time off the clock on their first possession and another 1:30 off on their next trip down the floor. In the mean time Atlantic turned the ball over on consecutive possessions, falling behind by 9 with only a few minutes left. Atlantic did mount a rally though down the stretch, Erin Olsen and Bailey Walter each hit big 3's and Olsen drove to the basket and completed a three point play to tie the game up, but Red Oak never relinquished the lead. The Tigers turned to Walker to take care of the ball handling duties and Walker's 11-11 free throw shooting proved to be a big factor in the game.
Red Oak dribbled out the clock following an Atlantic missed shot with 10 seconds to go and survived with a 56-53 win. Walker scored 20 for Red Oak matched by Olsen's 20 points for Atlantic. Other scorers in double-figures were Red Oak's Grace Blomstedt with 12, and Atlantic's Catherine Leonard (14) and Tiffany Williams (10).
Red Oak will play Shenandoah on Wednesday. The 15-7 Tigers lost both regular season meetings against the Phillies. Atlantic bows out at 2-20 overall.
Click for the postgame comments from Atlantic coach Casey Pelzer
Click for the postgame comments from Red Oak coach Dan Martinez