By THE HERALD-WHIG
MENDON, Ill. -- Vanessa Markert provided her Brown County teammates with a memory and her coach with relief Saturday afternoon. The Hornets had lost a five-point lead in the last 1 minute, 20 seconds and were trailing by one with seven seconds remaining in the consolation game of the Unity Tournament.
Markert caught the ensuing inbound pass two feet outside the lane and made a turnaround jumper to give the Hornets a 40-39 win.
"It was very relieving that I could start breathing again," Brown County coach Sarah Kearby said. "I was holding my breath for awhile."
Markert scored a game-high 16 points and her game-winning shot wrapped up an impressive tournament performance. She averaged 19.3 points per game and was named to the all-tournament team.
Highland (0-5) led 13-6 after the first quarter. Brown County used an 18-point second quarter to take a 24-17 lead. Jenna Yingling, who finished with 13 points, and Markert both scored five points in the second quarter for the Hornets.
"We were doing a good job of moving the ball around and were looking for good shots," Kearby said. "We also did well defensively."
Brown County still led 32-24 entering the fourth quarter when the Cougars made their run behind balanced scoring. Katelyn Boone led the Cougars with 14 points.
Kearby believes the win will provide her team with a lift.
"It was a big boost for them," Kearby said. "One of the girls said in the locker room they don't remember the last time we won a game in the Unity Tournament."
West Hancock 61, Western 48: A balanced scoring attack helped the Titans to third place.
Carly Runge and Allison Dewald scored 11 points each and Shelby Koehler and Alexis Dooley chipped in 10 for the TItans (3-4).
Western (3-5) struggled to keep up with West Hancock's pressure defense and got in foul trouble.
West Hancock led 26-20 at halftime. Rachel Motley led Western with 21 points and Melton added 10.