Walnut Grove is glad that ugly wins count the same as the pretty ones.
The Walnut Grove Tigers beat the Mound City Panthers 38-36 in overtime in the semifinals of the Class 1 girls' basketball championships on Friday at Hearnes Center.
Walnut Grove (27-4) won despite a poor shooting performance. The Tigers shot 23.5 percent, including a 4-30 performance on 3-pointers. Defense was the key as the Tigers forced Mound City (24-5) to commit 32 turnovers.
Mound City coach Craig Walker attributes some of the Panthers' turnovers to nerves.
"We'd never been here before," he said. "There was a lot of nerves out there. I was nervous, you know, but they sucked it up, and they made the run, they worked hard. We had an opportunity to win this game tonight and we just kind of let it slide through our fingers."
Tigers' coach Darin Meinders said that the win could have looked better.
"You guys saw it, it wasn't pretty," he said. "We didn't score 38 points because we were sitting on the ball tonight, that's for sure."
Coach Meinders said he was particularly impressed with his team's effort on defense.
"These kids, they played defensively," he said. "I felt like we dictated the tempo from start to finish. They played their hearts out."
The Tigers' Elizabeth Wilson led all scorers with 16 points, despite a 5-21 shooting night.
The Tigers' poor shooting performance concerned Meinders.
"As you see, we like to shoot the ball when we're open," he said. "I'd like for us to make a few more. I don't necessarily think we want to be in the record books...but we're still playing tomorrow night and that's a good thing."
Walnut Grove advances to play Brashear (31-0) in the Class 1 girls' championship game on Saturday at 7:55 p.m. in Hearnes Center.