The Van Meter Bulldogs girls' basketball team played the Panorama Panthers on Feb. 20 for the regional championship game. The Bulldogs had two of their three losses of the season to the Panthers, but were able to pull out a 39-38 win to get to the State Tournament.
Senior Mackenzie Roberts was the Bulldog to score the winning hoop. She had scored the final basket in the last 18 seconds after a timeout called by Bulldog coach Rick Roberts.
The game didn't start out this well for the Bulldogs. The first quarter ended with them trailing by six points.
The Panthers even had the ball at the tipoff, but Chelsea Bright did score the first basket. Bright's basket was followed by a foul called against Emily Roberts that allowed Bailey Beckman to make one of her two free throws.
Faith Powell then shot a three pointer that put the Panthers in the lead. Another five points for the Panthers and the score read 9-2, the Bulldogs just couldn't keep up.
The Bulldogs began to catch up, until Morgan Johnk made another field goal and the score was now 13-7.
The last basket of the quarter was for the Bulldogs made by C.J. Jones to finish up the score at 15-9.
The second quarter began with a foul called against the Bulldogs, it was then followed by a field goal for the Panther made by Devyn Kemble.
The only three points of the quarter for the quarter were then made by Mackenzie Roberts that put the score at 17-12.
Mackenzie Roberts was the Bulldogs second leading scorer. She made three field goals, two three pointers and three free throws.
The Panthers still scored four more points before the end of the half. When the buzzer went off, the scoreboard read 21-12.
Panther Hope Wilderman made the first field goal for the of the third quarter which widened the gap to 11 points.
After a few more possessions, Jones was able to make a three pointer for the Bulldogs. Jones was the leading scorer of the game against the Panthers. She had 16 points made up of two field goals and four three pointers.
"C.J. Jones hitting four threes in the second half was huge," said Coach Rick Roberts "I liked her aggressiveness in looking for her shot."
The next two points for the Bulldogs came from Emily Roberts and after a few more trips up and down the court the score read 26-22.
Kemble made the last two points of the quarter for the Panthers from free throws while Emily Roberts followed it up with a field goal shot with only two seconds left. The third quarter ended 28-24. The Bulldogs were finally catching up.
Jones began the final quarter with a three pointer that put the Bulldogs withing one point.
This went back and forth with the Bulldogs always trailing by one until Mackenzie Roberts made a three pointer and tied up the score at 32-32.
Now the game continued to go back and forth tying it up by a free throw or a field goal. With just a minute and 40 seconds left the score was at 35-35.
Johnk then had a fould called against her that allowed Mackenzie Roberts to make two free throws for the Bulldogs. The free throws were just followed with a three pointer for the Panthers from Kemble.
The Bulldogs ran down the court and ran down the clock as much as they could. With 18 seconds left Mackenzie Roberts shot a field goal that put the Bulldogs up one point.
This didn't end the game, the Panthers took it back down the court and shot twice, neither made it in. Mackenzie was finally able to get a hold of the ball and held it until the buzzer signaled the end of the game.
The game finished with a score of 39-38. The Bulldogs are going on to State.
"Obviously we are very excited to get the win," said Roberts. "The girls showed a great deal of toughness in the second half. Our girls could have folded after Panorama went up 11 in the third quarter but we just kept battling. Panorama is an outstanding well coached team. We are just excited for the opportunity to keep playing. Treynor is ranked second and is an outstanding team."