STERLING – Timing in basketball, as in life, is everything. Just ask West Carroll senior Kaylee Vos.
Vos had perfect timing on Monday night, cutting behind a Morrison defender for a rebound off a missed free throw and then putting the ball back up for two points to the tie the score.
She also had good timing off the court last week, as a trip to the doctor cleared her to play after an Achilles tendon tear had kept her off the court for most of January.
The Thunder reaped the benefits of both against the Fillies during the Class 2A Newman Regional quarterfinal. West Carroll rallied from a double-digit halftime deficit to win 51-44 in Sterling.
West Carroll (4-21) will play top-seeded and tenth-ranked Riverdale Rams at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in a regional semifinal.
"I was in a cast 2 weeks ago," Vos said. "It's always tough to sit out games when you are a senior. I just wanted to get back out and play."
"Thank goodness she was cleared to play," West Carroll coach Jeanelle Strohmaier said. "She played in two games last week after being cleared Thursday, and she led us in scoring in both games."
Vos, who finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, led the charge back against Morrison as much with her rebounding as with her points.
The back cut for the rebound and basket after a missed free throw by Trelawney Baisden tied the score at 38 with 4 minutes, 15 seconds left in the game.
"I can't even describe how that felt," Vos said. "It felt so good. I just can't stop smiling."
Morrison (5-22) was in full control for most of the first half as sophomores Lakin Goodman and Ashley Greul attacked the basket routinely.
Goodman had 12 of her 18 points in the first half. Greul added seven points, as the Fillies led 30-17 at the break.
The tone changed immediately in the second half, as neither Goodman and Greul were able to get to the basket as much.
"We just started playing defense, that was the big difference," Strohmaier siad. "We were moving our feet and getting into position."
It still didn't look like that would be enough after cutting the deficit to five points in the third quarter, when Goodman drove to the hoop for layups on three consecutive possessions to put Morrison back up by 11.
"I was feeling more comfortable after that sequence," Morrison coach Tyler Whitebread said. "We came out after halftime with no energy, almost like we were tired. I called a timeout and that didn't seem to do too much either.
"Credit West Carroll also," Whitebread said, "they made some adjustments, and we didn't react to it."
Morrison led 38-30 after three quarters, but West Carroll scored the first eight points of the fourth to tie the score. The run included a 3-pointer by Allysha Hrovat.
The Fillies couldn't buy a bucket, going 2 of 20 from the field in the fourth quarter, and they lost the overall rebounding battle 39-29.
"They just wanted it more," Whitebread said. "You could see that. I think our girls saw how happy they were after the game, and I hope that's something they want to feel. I know it's something I'd like to feel."
Morrison will return all of its roster, which consisted of two juniors and eight sophomores, for next season.
Star of the game: Kaylee Vos, West Carroll, 18 points, 11 rebounds
Key performers: Lakin Goodman, Morrison, 18 points; Chelsea Eads, Morrison, 11 points, 6 rebounds; Ieshia Larson, West Carroll, 10 points, 11 rebounds
Up next: 2A Newman Regional semifinal, No. 1 Riverdale vs. No. 4 West Carroll, 6 p.m. Wednesday