Legacy's first loss of the season went right down to the wire.
Minot senior Becca Tschetter made two free throws with seven seconds left and the Majettes came up with one final defensive stop in a 53-52 upset win at the Magic City Campus Monday night. It was the second home win for Minot over a ranked team this season. The Majettes defeated fifth-ranked Mandan by the identical score (53-52) on Jan. 30.
The Sabers had won their first 17 games of the season before the narrow road loss Monday night.
"We told the girls after the game we have learn from it and be better for it, but it hurts right now," said Legacy head coach Jim Petrik. "You have to give Minot credit. They shot the ball well and executed some great offensive sets for the girls they want to have the ball down the stretch.
"We just had so many defensive breakdowns where we were in the wrong spots, and to their credit, they capitalized and hit some big shots."
The Sabers (16-1 West Region, 17-1 overall) had the game's biggest lead (16-7) and led 27-21 at halftime, but second half see-sawed back and forth.
In the final 5 minutes, the lead changed hands nine times.
Sidney Kautz, who swished a trio of 3-pointers for the Sabers, gave Legacy a 47-45 advantage with her third triple of the game with 2 minutes to play.
Tschetter, who connected on four 3-balls, had a quick answer. The senior guard connected on her third shot from deep on the ensuing possession to put the home team back on top, 48-47.
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Alexis Dressler, who scored all 14 of her points in the second half, knocked down a jumper out of a timeout to put the Sabers back on top, 49-48 with 90 seconds showing on the clock. But back came Minot and Tschetter, who knocked down her fourth 3-pointer of the night for a 51-49 lead with 40 seconds remaining.
The Sabers answered with a strong possession as Dressler scored and was fouled to tie the game. The 6-foot senior knocked down the clutch free throw to put Legacy ahead 52-51 with 27 seconds to play.
Minot ran the clock down inside of 10 seconds before Tschetter was fouled. After a timeout by Legacy, Tschetter made the front end of a bonus to tie the game and nailed the second to put Minot on top.
Legacy's attempt to win at the buzzer was off the mark, giving the Majettes a marquee win over the state's second-to-last undefeated team. Devils Lake (15-0) stands alone as the last of the unbeatens.
"Every team wants to be the one that knocks off the undefeated team," Petrik said. "We've been taking everyone's best shot. It stings tonight, we're disappointed, but it will pay dividends down the stretch."
"The game had a postseason feel to it. There was a lot of energy in the gym, we just came up a little bit short."
Dressler led the Sabers with 14 points. Jaiden Baker was also in double figures with 11 points.
Allie Nelson led all scorers with 17 points for Minot. Tschetter added 16.
Legacy has little time to lick their wounds with a key showdown Friday against third-ranked Century, which has won six in a row since their only loss of the season to the Sabers (58-47) on Jan. 16. Friday's game, at Century High, tips off at 6 p.m.
"We need to have a short memory," Petrik said. "Century's been playing probably better than anybody. They've been rolling.
"The good thing is we control our own destiny for the No. 1 seed, but we're going to have to prepare really well and be ready for a very tough game on Friday."
Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or firstname.lastname@example.org