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STATE PLAYOFF ROUNDUP

Bregar Shakes Slump to Give Oak Park Victory

March 07, 2001|JOHN KLIMA

The last shot belonged to Michelle Bregar, and so did the miracle Tuesday night.

Bregar hit an 18-foot jump shot from the left wing as time expired to give the Eagles a 63-61 victory over Granite Hills in a Southern Regional Division IV first-round playoff victory at Oak Park.

Granite Hills had tied the score, 61-61, when Skye Stoddard hit a three-pointer with five seconds to play.

"I was so shocked," Bregar said. "Then all these people jumped on me."

Bregar, a junior guard who leads Oak Park with a 17.4 scoring average, had only seven points. She made only one field goal through three quarters and finished one of 10 from the free-throw line.

"There's nothing we could have done to stop that shot," Granite Hills Coach Gary Stoddard said. "We did a nice job containing her all night, but the last thing you want to see is their best player with the last shot."

Bregar's shot capped a fourth quarter in which the Grizzlies (22-9) whittled away Oak Park's eight-point lead.

Stoddard scored 13 of her game-high 32 points in the quarter. She scored a basket and free throw to cut the Oak Park lead to 58-56 with 1:04 to play.

Free throws by Jannel Buckley and Holly Stewart, who finished with 17 and 14 points, respectively, gave Oak Park a 60-56 lead. Stoddard cut the lead to 60-58 when she hit two free throws with 22 seconds to play.

Stewart gave Oak Park a 61-58 lead when she hit one of two free throws with 17 seconds.

As Bregar struggled, so did Oak Park. The Eagles shot just eight of 25 from the field, but collected 43 rebounds and had as many offensive boards, 24, as Granite Hills had total rebounds.

"That's where they really killed us," Coach Stoddard said.

Oak Park trailed, 26-24, at halftime and fell behind by as many as six points in the third quarter.

With Bregar and Stewart on the bench with four fouls midway through the third quarter, freshman guard Shir Raanan ignited a 12-5 run over the final 3:20 of the third quarter for a 46-38 lead.

Raanan scored nine of her 13 points in the run. The Eagles hit five three-pointers in the third quarter, including two by Raanan and two by Kim Bryan, who had 12 points before fouling out with 2:12 to play.

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