Simley made its free shots down the stretch and Rogers didn’t, allowing the Spartans to fight off an upset bid by the Royals 52-50 on Friday night in Inver Grove Heights.
Rogers surged from a 10-point deficit at halftime to a 10-point lead in the second half. Simley pulled back even with three-point shooting.
In the last minute, Simley was 4-for-4 at the line and Rogers 0-for-3, with one made but nullified by a lane violation with 14 seconds left and the score 50-50. Simley then took the lead with an inside basket with four second left.
The Spartans (11-1) were led by guards Alexis Boyd-Lockett with 18 points and Shauna Horsch with 12.
Rogers (6-6) was led by Courtney McClay with 16, Jordyn Motter with 14 and Emily Reichert with 12.
Simley was 9-for-12 and Rogers 5-for-12 at the line.
“This is a tough loss to digest,” reflected Rogers coach Jeremy Digiovanni, ” because our girls did such a great job to come back, take a good lead, and then come up short at the end. We played very well overall, but especially in the second half, for all but the final two minutes.”
He added that Rogers is around 70 percent on free throws for the season so 5-for-12 in a tight game was “not only surprising, but also ended up being the difference.”
Rogers will host Monticello on Tuesday.
Rogers – Reichert 13, Heikkinen 2, Frain 4, Motter 14, McClay 16, Dorr 1
Simley – Horsch 12, A. Boyd-Lockett 18, DeLao 4, Willaert 3, A. Lockett 9, Brown 6