Cassie Reiley earned some long-distance redemption Monday at the Iowa-Illinois Senior All-Star Basketball Showcase.
However, the Prophetstown sharpshooter's final 3-point attempt as a prep missed the mark, and Team Illinois just missed a ninth straight victory in the 14th annual event, falling 74-73 at Augustana College's Carver Center.
"It's tough to take a loss like that, especially by one point," said the St. Ambrose-bound Reiley. "We had a lot on our shoulders. We had a shot at the end."
However, Reiley's desperation half-court heave failed to find the rim at the buzzer three seconds after Pleasant Valley's Chloe Miller missed her second front end of a one-and-one free throw in the final 40 seconds.
Team Illinois also committed a pair of late turnovers after Alleman's Zoe Kelso scored five of her team-high 13 points in the final 97 ticks, drawing Lincoln Land within the final score with 46.4 seconds showing.
"They came out really strong, and toward the end of the game we let it slip," Riverdale's Hannah Nimrick said. "With one day to practice, we never worked on last-minute plays, so that was hard.
"I missed a big layup and a big 3-pointer late, too, so I guess it's all on me," Nimrick added as a joke.
Indeed, while Illinois lost for only the fourth time in the girls' game history, all was far from lost for the participants in a thriller featuring a pair of ties and eight lead changes.
"From a small school, it was fun to come out and play with the big school players," said Nimrick, a Class 2A All-State pick, deciding between Monmouth, Millikin and Dubuque to play both basketball and volleyball in college. "We always wanted to play against these girls, so getting to play with them was a lot of fun, and it was fun to play one last time with Cass."
Reiley also earned some local bragging rights by winning both the girls' and co-ed titles in the 3-point contest. Reiley, who had a state title bid denied in the same skill last month, shot past both Wethersfield's Sarah Hansen and Davenport North's Blaine Samuelson.
"I had a little mishap at Redbird Arena (in the state finals), when one of my balls got stuck (in the net), so I was up for some redemption, and I got that with my victory here," Reiley said. "It was neat, to come from one of the smallest schools in the area, to beating the boys' champ. That made it a little sweeter.
"It was a great honor. I was very blessed to be here. Not many small-town girls get this chance, but I was able to hang out there, and that gives me high hopes for college."
Kelso (13 points, 6 rebounds), Nimrick (11 points, 5 rebounds) and Galesburg's Jessica Lieber (10 points) were the leading scorers for Illinois.
Iowa got a game-high 18 points from MVP Emily Soy of North Scott, plus a double-double from Assumption's 3-time Iowa state champ Kate Fennelly (11 points, 12 rebounds). Miller also finished with 14 points for the Hawkeye state team.
Today is Saturday, Sept. 20, the 263rd day of 2014. There are 102 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Recruits can get $500 by enlisting now. Lt Jobe has a recruiting office on Illinois Street. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Superintendent Schnitger formally inaugurated the Rock Island and Davenport Railway Line of the Holmes system by putting on four cars to start. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Wires of the defunct Union Electric Co. are being removed by city electricians. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The Bishop Hill softball team won the championship in WHB"S Mississippi Valley tournament at Douglas Park. 1964 -- 50 years ago: A boom in apartment construction has hit Rock Island, with approximately 300 units either in or near the construction stage or due for an early rezoning decision. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Members of the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Commission are hoping to revive their push for a new $70 million four-lane bridge spanning the Mississippi River.