HERRIN — Herrin defeated Pinckneyville, 60-37, in the last game of the 14th Annual Herrin Holiday Hoops tournament to win its third title in the last four years.
"We needed help from Vienna, and they did their job, beating Harrisburg, leaving our fate in our own hands ... and we did a good job taking care of business tonight," said Herrin coach Bill Green.
Herrin and Vienna finished at 3-1, but the Lady Tigers won the title because they beat the Lady Eagles on Wednesday, 64-43.
Vienna beat Pinckneyville in Thursday’s afternoon session, 65-25, and then beat Harrisburg, 48-45, in the first game of the evening session. Pinckneyville beat Pope County, 60-28, to open the afternoon session.
Pinckneyville had won back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014, but was edged out by Harrisburg on the free throw percentage tie-breaker last year.
Pinckneyville and Harrisburg finished at 2-2, with Pinckneyville claiming third by virtue of beating Harrisburg on the first day, 42-40. Pope County finished fifth at 0-4.
The turning point of the tournament for the Lady Tigers was in the second quarter of the win over Vienna on Wednesday when Green benched the entire starting unit. After they returned, Herrin finished strongly.
Hannah Groutage led Herrin with a double-double on 14 points and 10 rebounds. The senior center finished second in scoring with 63 points for the tournament and was named the tournament MVP for the first time in her career.
"The benching made us realize we needed to step our game up and play together and we ended up winning," Groutage said. "That energy kept us pumped up and allowed us to overcome their run at the end of the first quarter."
Joining Groutage on the All-Tournament were her teammates Grace Lehnhoff and Makayla Smothers.
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Vienna forward Lindsey Holhubner led the tournament in scoring with 68 points and was named to the All-Tournament team along with teammate Callie Clay.
Rounding out the All-Tournament team were Megan Breslin and Mayci Doerflein from Pinckneyville, Jessica Hopson, Karsyn Davis and Lotte Miller from Harrisburg and Madison Murphy from Pope County.
The Lady Tigers led by eight points with 2:14 remaining in the first quarter, but the Panthers cut the lead to two heading into the second quarter on back-to-back 3-pointers by Raygan Yates.
After Caitlyn Anderson tied the game on a layup to open the second quarter Madison Russell swished a 3-pointer from right side to start an 11-1 run to take a 10-point lead with 3:43 remaining in the half.
The first game of the evening session between Vienna and Harrisburg was just the opposite. Vienna trailed by eight with 2:48 remaining in the third, but rallied to take the lead 43-40 early in the fourth.
Matty Hawkins scored on a bucket and then on a free throw to tie the game a 43, but a putback by Holhubner and two free throws by Clay gave the Lady Eagles a four-point lead with 1:06 remaining. Holhubner led the game with 22 points.
Harrisburg pulled back within two points on a putback by Miller with 22.8 left. Hayleigh Keeling was then fouled 2.5 seconds later and with a chance to put the game away missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Miller took the ball down the court, but Keeling knocked the ball away near the free throw line. Rachel Kindhart picked it up and was fouled, and hit one foul shot.
With six seconds left, Hopson’s 3-pointer attempt from the right corner was short and Vienna was able to run the clock out.