Exira-EHK guard Ellie Schultes is pressured by a pair of Boyer Valley girls, including Grace Reineke (20). Spartan freshman Tatum Grubbs races upcourt after stealing the ball from Lady Bulldogs point guard Anna Puck.  Exira-EHK senior Kealey Nelson passes the ball toward a teammate after diving on the floor for a loose ball in Tuesday’s game at Boyer Valley. (Photos by Mike Oeffner)

Boyer Valley ends Spartan streak at the wire

Fundermann’s last-second shot snaps string of 63 conference victories for Exira-EHK girls

 DUNLAP (Jan. 2) -- After fighting from behind the whole way Tuesday night, the Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton girls took their first lead of the game on Ellie Schultes’ back-to-back threes inside the final minute.
 With just :07.3 remaining, it appeared the Spartans’ 63-game conference winning streak would live to see another day, but Boyer Valley wasn’t done just yet.
 Following a timeout, Lady Bulldog senior Anna Puck drove past the midcourt stripe, stopped near the three-point arc and found an open Chelsey Fundermann on the right side of the lane for a game-winning layup with one second left on the clock.
 Out of timeouts, Exira-EHK was unable to stop the clock as the buzzer sounded on a frustrating 47-46 defeat in Dunlap. The 4th-ranked (1A) Spartans suffered their first loss of the season, falling to 7-1 overall and 6-1 in Rolling Valley Conference play, and lost their first RVC game since a 36-33 setback at Adair-Casey in February of 2014.
 “I know the seniors are disappointed about that. I said, ‘That’s why I don’t keep track of that as a coach,’” said Exira-EHK head coach Tom Petersen of the streak. “That’s the farthest thing from my mind. We’ve got a lot of things that we’ve got to clean up as a basketball team and it showed tonight. I was very disappointed in our effort.
 “Hats off to Boyer Valley. I thought they played hard, but you don’t deserve to win games if you play like (we did).”
 The Spartans played most of the first half without all-state senior Sophia Peppers, who sat on the bench with two fouls, but only trailed by six points (19-13) at the break. With Peppers playing the entire second half, Exira-EHK appeared on the verge of overtaking Boyer Valley (9-1, 7-0 RVC) several times, but the Lady Bulldogs always seemed to have an answer when the score got close.

Exira-EHK Scoring: Sophia Peppers 16, Kealey Nelson 12, Ellie Schultes 6, Tatum Grubbs 6, Leslie Caniglia 4, Kamryn Waymire 2.
Boyer Valley Scoring: Ella Meyer 11, Cathryn Klein 11, Chelsey Fundermann 10, Erin Weber 6, Grace Reineke 4, Cheyann Marshall 4, Anna Puck 1. Rebounds: Klein 8, Fundermann 6. Assists: Puck 6. Steals: Puck 6. Blocks: Meyer 2.

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