It may have been achieved in a wholly different fashion, but the end result — another last-second Princeton rally past Mt. Carmel in a girls basketball thriller — was similar.
On Dec. 28, it was Kelsey Kolb-Klume who provided the heroics by hitting five free throws with 3.8 seconds remaining to give the Lady Tigers an 84-82 win in the championship of the Toyota Teamwork Classic.
Monday at the Hilltop, before a sold-out crowd of 1,400 anxious for the Big 8 Conference rematch, the moment belonged to a 15-year-old freshman, Brooke Lamp.
She was wide-open under the basket after taking a pass from Jackie Young, and scored with 3.1 seconds remaining to give Indiana Class 3A No. 1-ranked Princeton (14-0, 4-0 in Big 8) a 70-69 win over Mt. Carmel (13-4, 2-2).
The Lady Aces did get one last shot away, a 35-footer from Tyra Buss that came close to going in. With that, Princeton had earned a series sweep from its rival and a probable league championship.
“Two great teams, it was a tremendous ballgame,” said Lady Aces coach Tim Willis. “I said last week that I doubted the game could be that close and dramatic again, but it was and a little bit more. That last shot almost fell in.”
Buss, who wound up with 41 points, had given Mt. Carmel a 69-68 lead with a free throw with 18.7 seconds left, after a layup which prompted the foul call had tied it.
The Aces trailed, 66-61, with less than 90 seconds remaining, when a three-point field goal by Reagan Keepes brought the hosts to within 66-64.
Alex Rosignol, in only her third game back since recovering from a knee injury last summer, calmly hit two free throws to tie things at 66.
Young, the 6-foot sophomore who led Princeton with 39 points, then hit a shot to put Princeton back up, 68-66.
Mt. Carmel, which was ranked ninth in last week’s Class 2A poll, jumped to a 36-22 lead in the second quarter, before Princeton began to go inside more.
The Tigers finished the first half on a 12-3 run to pull to within 39-34 at intermission.
“We came out pretty good,” Willis said. “It looked like we played pretty well most of the game. We were getting the looks we wanted.”
Buss had 20 of her points in the first quarter.
Keepes finished with 10 points, Rosignol nine and Callie Dunkel eight pointds.
The last time these two teams met, there were 4,000 fans at Gibson Southern on hand as Buss broke the Illinois career scoring record.
Even without incentives as momentus, fans never lost their ferver for this rematch.
Spectators were lined up when the gates opened at 5:15 p.m., and by the time the junior varsity game began at 6 p.m. all but a handful of seats had been filled.
Fans were standing along the top of the arena, and were seated along the baselines on both ends of the court.
“It will be a challenge” to refocus his team after the loss, according to Willis.