The play called for Belton junior Courtnie Lewis to be a decoy. But over the past three seasons, she’s shown a propensity for stepping into the center of the spotlight.
She stumbled there by accident Friday.
Lewis converted a three-point play with 3.9 seconds left, the game-winning sequence in Belton’s 44-40 win against St. Teresa’s Academy in the Missouri Class 5, District 13 championship game.
Belton won its first district title in school history — on a play that wasn’t originally designed for Lewis but rather her teammate Liz Bulver.
“It was designed to get the ball to the corner, but (they) played good defense on that. I just posted my man up, got it and finished,” Lewis said.
That provided the final link in a comeback chain that started early in the fourth quarter. St. Teresa’s ended the third quarter on a 15-0 run to take a 38-28 lead.
Belton, 15-12, used its defense to claw its way back into the game, taking its initial fourth-quarter lead on Lewis’ shot. Lewis, the team’s leading scorer for three straight seasons, finished with 21 points, with 11 coming over the final period.
Eleanor Lueke had 12 for St. Teresa’s, which finished 21-5. The Stars made only one field goal in the fourth quarter and missed all five free-throw attempts.
“Our defense created our offense,” Belton coach Brad Batchelder said. “We got a defensive stop, came down and scored, got a defensive stop, came down and scored. They called timeout, and the girls believed.”