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February 11, 2003

Ruckman's final basket pushes Iowa Deaf to win

From: Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil, IA - 11 Feb 2003

JEFF DELUCA , Staff Writer 02/11/2003

Karen Ruckman scored 16 points for Iowa School for the Deaf, with none bigger than the final one, as the Bobcats edged Nebraska City, Neb., Lourdes JV 35-34 Monday night at the Lied Center.

With the score knotted 34-34 and 4.8 seconds left the Lady Knights had possession on an out-of-bounds play at mid-court.

On the inbound pass, Ruckman stepped in front of Lourdes' junior Kara Morrison and raced down the floor, where she was fouled while shooting with 1.8 seconds left.

"She has a deceptive quickness," ISD coach Mike Shannon said. "She has a quick first step."

"I just wanted to win the game," Ruckman said through Shannon. "I just guessed and stepped in front (of the pass.)"

The ISD junior missed the first foul shot, but came back and sank her second attempt to earn the victory in the team's final home game of the season.

Ruckman said she was "a little nervous" while stepping to the line but "thought positive" heading into the final and game-winning foul shot.

The victory quashed a big second-half rally by the Knights, who trailed 20-7 at the break, but put together a big 19-6 run to tie the game with 4:25 left in the contest.

"In the third quarter we quit rebounding," Shannon said. "We quit doing some of the things we were doing in the first half."

The Knights took a brief lead, but Ruckman responded with a basket and two free throws down the stretch, helping to set up the game's final seconds.

"This is a group that has never given up in any game," Shannon said.

Sarah Brown added eight points, nine rebounds and six steals in the win, while Katie Romey scored six points and Cassandra Case added five for the Bobcats, who move to 11-5 on the year.

"It was a nice team win," Shannon said.

The Bobcats wrap up the season this weekend as they travel to Faribault, Minn., for the Great Plains School for the Deaf Tournament, which begins Thursday.

Nebraska City Lourdes JV 2 5 9 18 - 34

Iowa Deaf 9 11 6 9 - 35

Nebraska City Lourdes JV: Courtney Davis 2, Amber Sauvain 5, Sarah Russell 0, Kara Morrison 5, Ashley Smith 2, Lisa Lerdahl 11, Katie Lance 4, Jill Lisemeyer 5.

Iowa Deaf: Karen Ruckman 16 (4r, 6s), Jada Hart 0 (2r), Cassandra Case 5 (5r), Sarah Brown 8 (9r, 6s), Katie Romey 6 (6r), Meredith Kasal 0, Erin Huntrods 0.

Records: Nebraska City Lourdes JV (na), Iowa Deaf (11-5).

©Daily Nonpareil 2003