Chamois Lady Pirates win Hermann Tournament for first time

The Lady Pirates knock off Owensville 39-36 to win the Hermann Tournament for the first time.

Hermann, Mo. – The smallest school in the tournament found themselves playing in Friday night’s bigggest game for the first time, proving that winning is not about the size of a school, it’s about which team has the most desire to win.

Chamois’s senior Miranda Brandt led the Lady Pirates with a game high 21 points and the schools first championship in the Hermann Tournament.

Chamois jumped out to an 18-12 lead in the first quarter after Alyssa Bullock dropped in two of the team’s four threes.  Owensville slowly worked their way back.  Late in the second quarter Owensvilled pulled with in one point after Hailey Diestelkamp scored off an offensive rebound at the 1:40 mark, 21-20. Chamois turned around, scoring four straight points to end the half and a four point lead, 25-21.

Miranda Brandt was nearly unstoppable, scoring a game high 21 points.

Halfway through the third Brandt went the length of the floor for an easy layup, tying their largest lead of the game, 31-25.

Owensville’s Diestelkamp came right back by hitting three free throws after two trips to the line, brining her team within three, but it was Brandt who had the last word, hitting a jumper to end the third quarter and a five point Chamois lead, 33-28.

Chamois began the final eight minutes taking their largest lead, 37-30 at the five-minute mark when Owensville’s defense forced several turnovers, giving them the lift needed to mount a comeback.

Chamois head coach Marty Gerloff told his team during a timeout late in the fourth, “Not to quit playing basketball, naturally we were trying to get a good look offensively…main thing I was preaching was about playing defense.  We were up five and needed to get a stop.  The girls did a great job of keeping their composer.”

Despite Owensville’s efforts, Chamois clung to a two-point lead, 37-35, with 37 seconds left when Alison Mehmert was at the line shooting one and one.

This is where games are won or lost, nothing else matters when you have a chance to make it two-possession game.  Mehmert came through in the clutch, scoring her sixth and seventh points on the night to seal the deal, giving Chamois their 12th win and one of their biggest. (39-36)

Gerloff commented on what it meant winning Friday’s championship. “It means a lot.  For a small school to come down compete with Class 3 and 4 schools and to end up winning the tournament…it’s nice and I’m very proud with how our girls played.  A win like this could end up paying off later in the season.”

No question Brandt had a great game and at times seemed to carrier her team during pivotal moments, but Chamois had other players step and make big plays at crucial times.

Alyssa Bullock at the line with 37 seconds left, hits both free throws, making it a two-possession game.

Coach Gerloff said, “Miranda [Brandt] no doubt had a great game but it was a team effort.  Alison [Mehmert] hitting both free throws at the end was huge...she did a nice job handling the ball.  Alyssa [Bullock] hit those two threes in the first quarter and really shot the ball well all tournament.”

“As a team I felt we buckled down…for the most part took good shots on each possession and defensively we guarded well.”

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Friday night marked Chamois’s third straight win and improved to 12-5 overall.  Chamois also became the third school to have both their boys and girls team playing for first place.  Hermann and New Haven being the other two.

It also marked the second straight year Owensville has reached the championship, falling short to Hermann last year. The have also played for first in 2005 and 2006, losing to New Haven both years.

Hermann Tournament Records:
New Haven and Hermann are tied with most tournament titles of 5.

Warrenton, St. Clair, and now Chamois are the only other teams to have won the tournament.

Chamois Miranda Brandt holds the record for most rebounds in the tournament, which she set last year with 41 rebounds.

Seniors Emily Gilbert and Alyssa Bullock are presented the first place trophy by Athletic Director Todd Anderson.