FAIRMONT - Kayla Lardy grabbed her 18th rebound and converted a traditional 3-point play to stake Fairmont to its only lead - 50-48 - of Monday night's basketball game with 2:12 remaining in regulation.
Cardinal guard Emily Kim buried a long 2-pointer from the right wing with 30 seconds to go to knot the game at 52-all before Minnesota Valley Lutheran guard Chrissy Biedenbender's high-arching baseline fadeaway rimmed in and then out at the buzzer to force overtime in Fairmont.
The Chargers' Mariah Schoof sank four free throws, while the hometown Cardinals committed six turnovers without scoring a point during the 4-minute extra period as MVL exited Cardinal Gym with a 60-52 non-league victory in hand.
LEANING BANKER — Fairmont center Kayla Lardy (53) banks home a leaner in the lane over Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Anna Munsen (50) and Alexa Alfred during non-league basketball action Monday night in Fairmont. MVL’s Mariah Schoof (3) and Fairmont’s Tracy Thiesse (15) look on. Photo by Leanna Becker
"We had our chances to win it in regulation, but the shots just didn't fall," said Fairmont head coach Don Waletich, whose lineup erased an 11-point deficit during the second half on the strength of Lardy's rare 20-20 performance.
The Cardinals' 6-foot-1 junior center scored half of her game-leading 20 points during the second half and garnered 11 of her game-best 20 rebounds. Lardy tied the Fairmont girls basketball program's single-game rebounding record that is shared by Tammy Thiesse (1992), Tara Thiesse (1994) and Amy Malo (2004).
After power forward Sarah Burk reeled off four consecutive points by crashing the offensive glass to extend MVL's lead to 34-23 during the initial stages of the second half, Fairmont's trio of Kristen Campe, Alex Christianson and Lardy engineered a comeback.
Campe sank one of her three 3-pointers from the left wing off of one of Sierra Schultz's four assists before Schultz spotted Christianson for a 10-foot leaner in the lane to whittle the Chargers' lead to 34-28.
Christianson, who collected solid all-around numbers of seven points, nine boards and five steals, then displayed her tenacity by diving to the floor to scoop up the loose basketball and flipped it to Lardy for a lay-in to narrow the gap to four.
Larissa DeRousse, however, quickly countered with a 3-pointer off a Schoof assist to recharge the Chargers before MVL teammate Martha Johnston hit a putback basket to restore a nine-point edge.
Burk, who produced a double-double performance of 14 points and 10 rebounds, later sank a pair of free throws to restore a six-point lead at 44-38 with 6 minutes remaining before the Cardinals' Tracy Thiesse buried a trifecta. Thiesse's trey off a Lardy assist was quickly answered by Charlotte Pfingsten's 3-pointer.
Trailing 48-44, Campe drained a 3-pointer from the left wing off an assist from Kim to inch Fairmont within one before Lardy's pivotal 3-point play swung a 50-48 lead to the home team with 2:22 to go.
Pfingsten converted a one-and-one situation 10 seconds later before Schoof swooshed a baseline runner with 54 seconds remaining to put MVL up 52-50.
Kim, however, drilled an 18-footer from the right wing 24 seconds later to knot the game at 52-all.
DeRousse banked home the first points of the overtime off of Biedenbender's sideline steal-turned-assist.
Anna Munsen later sank two free throws before Schoof netted four more from the charity stripe to seal the Chargers' overtime victory.
Campe scored 11 points for the Cardinals, while Thiesse contributed nine points.
Schoof finished with 11 points and three assists for MVL, DeRousse scored 10 points, while Munsen chalked up six points and a team-best 11 boards.
Fairmont (6-11, 2-4 South Central) travels to St. James on Thursday night for a conference game.
Minnesota Valley Lutheran (17-2) hits the road to Sleepy Eye Public on Friday night.
MVL downed Fairmont, 38-31, during B-squad action Monday in Fairmont.
Sophie Shelgren produced eight points and four steals for the Cardinals, Sydney Glienke netted six points and six steals, while Emily Kim added six points.
MVL fended off Fairmont's second-half comeback to net a 35-32 victory during C-squad action Monday in Fairmont.
Marisa Nelson generated 10 points and six rebounds to top the Cardinals, Emily Kloeckner and Larissa Becker each scored six points, Abby Fitzgerald chipped in five points and four rebounds, while Marissa Voss contributed three steals.