The Waterloo girls basketball team tasted sweet victory on Saturday, edging Alton Marquette 44-42 for the Candy Cane Classic championship at Gibault.
“I’m exhausted, and I didn’t even play,” Waterloo head coach Matt Lucash said following the hard-fought win.
The Bulldogs, who advanced to the final by virtue of a grueling overtime win over rival Columbia on Wednesday night, trailed the Explorers at halftime, 20-17. But Lucash’s squad mounted a strong third quarter rally to take command of the game. Waterloo outscored Marquette 13-4 in the third period and led 30-24 entering the fourth quarter.
The tide swung back and forth in the game’s final minutes, with Waterloo hanging on for the two-point victory — and the tourney title.
Waterloo was led once again by Taylor Augustine, who scored 15 points Saturday and was named tourney MVP. She was joined on the all-tourney team by Kathryn Finnerty, who scored 12 points Saturday and pulled down 12 rebounds for the ‘Dogs. Finnerty also had two big blocks in the contest.
With the 3-0 tourney showing, Waterloo is now 5-5 on the season.
In other tourney action, Columbia earned third place by topping Roxana, 49-32. The Eagles bounced back from Wednesday’s defeat to post a 19-1 lead after one quarter against the Shells.
Kalli Farmer led Columbia with 13 points and eight rebounds in the win. Claire Foster added nine points and six steals.
The Eagles are now 8-3 on the season.