Lady Shamrocks prove it can be done

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Rachel Steinhoff slices and dices down the lane late in the first half as she was fouled.
Photos by Kaylin Bade

Columbia, Mo – New Haven’s magical run began with knocking off the number two team in the State, Meadow Heights.  Then upending the South Pemiscot Bulldogs sending the Lady Shamrocks to the final four.

Rarely has a New Haven team been looked upon as a Cinderella team, but after upsetting Meadow Heights in dramatic fashion, calling New Haven the Cinderella Rocks seem fit.  Watching a group of high school aged girls bring a community together and a week filled with an excitement not seen in a decade.  Regardless New Haven deserved to be in the final four. They had beaten very good teams along the way and earned their place in Columbia.

Saturday’s Class 2 State Championship game had everyone cheering for New Haven. How couldn’t you, it was St. Patrick’s Day and the Lady Shamrocks were playing for a state title.

In Thursday’s press conference after New Haven had defeated Marionville, head coach Ted Young compliment New Haven.  Young said, “They were smooth.  I think they are a good team.  I think their coach did a very good job.  They were prepared.  They didn’t beat themselves.  They only turned the ball over five times.  They knew who was suppose to shoot the basketball.”

Harrisburg came out firing, hitting six of their first eight shots to lead 14-5 after one quarter.  New Haven fought back in the second quarter after being down 20-5 with 3:33 left in the half when the Rocks began mounting a comeback, cutting into Harrisburg’s lead, topped off with Kayla Oetterer finishing a three point play to end the half on a nine to two run. (22-14)

Oetterer and Rachel Steinhoff began the third quarter with an Oetterer layup and Steinhoff hitting two free throws, suddenly it was a four-point game, 22-18. Harrisburg came right back, lead by Chelsey Kroese and New Haven found themselves down by 10, 31-21.

With New Haven down 10 with two minutes left in the third, Steinhoff single handedly took over, knocking down back to back 3s, scoring eight points  bringing her team within five at the .45 mark.  Harrisburg’s Kroese, who at times seemed unstoppable, ended the third quarter with a layup and a blow to New Haven as they had built up little momentum.

Harrisburg was able to hold off New Haven to claim their second State Championship.

Oetterer ended her Shamrock career scoring a team high 15 points and eight rebounds.  Steinhoff scored 10 of her 13 points in the second half, dished out four assists, and had four steals.

The Lady Shamrocks finish 18-13 on the year.  The 2012 Lady Shamrocks were the first team ever to advance to the final four since New Haven has been a Class 2 school.