LANSING | Illiana Christian girls lost their shooting touch before halftime Tuesday against Fenton during Senior Night.
Much to the Vikings' misfortune, the Bison found their groove shortly afterward. Fenton overcame an 11-point deficit in the second quarter and never turned back, shooting its way to a 51-43 Metro Suburban Conference victory.
The win for the Bison avenged a 13-point loss to the Vikings two months ago.
"Once we got behind, we just kind of lost the wind in our sails," Vikings coach Dave Bosman said. "We just couldn't get the momentum back."
The Bison's second-half comeback was built at first around forward Dylin Coons. The senior scored 10 of her team-high 16 points in the third quarter and led her squad on a 10-2 run in the third that gave the visitors a one-point lead heading into the final quarter.
The Bison then added their outside shooting in the fourth quarter, including 7-of-8 shots made from the free throw line. Sophomore guard Tina Guarino added seven points and made a nice off-balance pass that led to a three-point play by teammate Sidney Montano, which helped keep the Vikings at bay.
The Vikings (8-19, 2-10 MSC) made only one 3-point shot Tuesday, that by Mallory Fulton in the final seconds of the game. The Vikings also committed 20 turnovers.
"We are a better team when we hit our perimeter shots," Bosman said. "Our last three games, we had been hitting our perimeter shots, but not today. If we can cut down on our turnovers and hit perimeter shots early, there is nobody that we can't beat."
The Vikings built their first-half lead with strong passing and the inside play of Jaclene Bonnema and Megan Knapper. Bonnema finished with a game-high 19 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots, while Knapper added nine points and seven rebounds.
A basket by Kristen Brink off a pass from Lauren Brink midway through the second quarter gave the Vikings a 23-14 lead. Though Knapper would push the advantage to 11 with two free throws, the basket by Brink was the final field goal the Vikings would make in the first half.
The Bison (10-15, 3-6), which made just 6-of-30 field goal attempts in the first half, inched to within five points before intermission thanks to 3-point field goals by Katie Rubright and Taylor Pugliese.
"We've improved as a team," Bison coach Tim Anderson said. "We've had so many games this year like this, but we've ended up on the losing end. Our players are learning from those experiences."