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Oakdale Varsity Girls Go Overtime To Beat East Union
Players surround Madison Hackbarth, middle, partially obscured, after she hit the game-winning 3-point shot at the buzzer in an overtime victory against East Union in Valley Oak League play. Marg Jackson/The Leader

They needed two.

Madison Hackbarth got them three.

Oakdale’s varsity Lady Mustangs shocked East Union with a 53-51 overtime victory on Wednesday night, Jan. 15, the host squad sending the visitors away unhappy.

A battle from the first whistle, the game featured technicals against a player on each team, a few players fouling out, a near fist fight at center court, a game-tying 3-pointer from Anna Perrone to send it into overtime and the buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Hackbarth to win it.

“Definitely an entertaining game,” said a happy varsity girls coach Justin Schwitters, as the team nailed down a key Valley Oak League victory. “We did draw up the play for Anna to hit the 3 at (the end of) regulation, she was having a good shooting night so we wanted to get her the look at the end. The girls executed the play very well, and Anna made a shot she consistently knocks down at practice.”

Oakdale took a 13-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, then went on a 7-0 run in the second to lead it 20-10. But they stopped there, going cold and watching East Union respond with a 13-0 run and take a 23-20 lead at the half. Down 33-31 after three, Oakdale chipped away but didn’t catch up until the final play of regulation, when Perrone hit the 3 to knot the game at 45-45. The quarter also featured offsetting technicals and the fifth personal foul for Alyssa Freeman, who had to take a seat on the bench. In the overtime, team leader Christina Cobarruvias also committed her fifth personal foul and took a seat, but Schwitters said it was a total team effort and other players helped notch the win.

“Those two fouling out definitely hurt us. Cobo is our leader on the court and main ball handler, and Alyssa is our fire. She brings so much attitude and competitiveness to our team it’s really not replicable,” the coach said. “Luckily even with those two fouling out, we still had Maddi in the game, who played varsity last year, so she pretty much was able to take control and get us shots when we needed them.

“The person who isn’t talked about as much and who has stepped up and does all the dirty work for us is Micaela Maaske. She had 11 points in the game and countless rebounds. She played the full 32 minutes and had to battle down low with their bigs the whole game and did a fantastic job. Without her hard work and willingness to do the dirty work, those big shots would not have even been possible.”

Perrone had 17 points to lead the Lady Mustangs in the contest, Cobarruvias 14 and Maaske added 11, with Hackbarth contributing nine.

“For the last play with Maddi, we drew up a play for her to get a high ball screen at the top of the key and for her to make a play,” Schwitters explained. “Really didn’t specify getting to the basket or pulling up for a jumper, just told her to make a play and she did.”

Tied at 45-45 and coming off the thrilling bucket to tie it up, the teams went into a four-minute overtime period, which was another back and forth frame, Oakdale tying it at 50-50 on a pair of free throws by Perrone when the East Union coach got a technical. East Union got its final point on a free throw with just over a minute left, missed a handful down the stretch, and saw Oakdale gain possession with 7.1 seconds left, allowing Schwitters to take the time out to draw up the play.

When the shot from Hackbarth swished through the hoop at the buzzer, the East Union team could only look on in disbelief as the Oakdale bench and crowd erupted in cheers.

“As for us moving forward, the win was big but we still have a long ways to go,” Schwitters said of facing tough teams in the VOL. “There are still more battles to take place. We have goals, and we know to make our goals a reality the work has really only just begun.”

Oakdale’s JV team fell in a close 37-32 contest to East Union with Cammi Mauchley scoring 13 and Emery Sipe with 10; the freshmen were 40-28 victors.

The girls are home again this Friday night, Jan. 24, hosting Sonora.