All that stood between Fort Atkinson snapping its 61-game losing streak in conference was 11.1 seconds and a trip to the free-throw line.
Up two points, the Blackhawks missed the front end of a free-throw attempt and Monona Grove senior Jenny Gorton hit a step-back 3-pointer in the waning seconds of the game.
Gorton’s 3-pointer proved to be the dagger and the Fort Atkinson girls basketball team extended its Badger South losing streak to 62 games with a 45-44 loss to Monona Grove Thursday night at Fort Atkinson High School.
Fort Atkinson (3-16, 0-13 Badger South) held Monona Grove scoreless until the 11-minute, 29-second mark of the first half. The Blackhawks built a 7-0 lead — a pair of layups from senior Anna Schoenike and a 3-pointer from junior Tyla Staude — before the Silver Eagles broke the scoreless start with a layup.
Staude’s second 3-pointer of the first half made it 18-9 with 3:00 remaining until half, matching Fort Atkinson’s biggest lead of the first half.
Monona Grove scored four straight points, but a 3-pointer from sophomore Kiara Wolfram with 20 seconds left in the half halted the run and gave the Blackhawks some momentum heading into the locker room.
Fort Atkinson led, 21-13, at halftime.
Monona Grove scored the first nine points of the second half to take a 22-21 lead, but a 3-pointer from senior Klaire Trieloff broke the drought and gave the Blackhawks the lead at 24-22 with 12:30 to go.
Trieloff extended the lead to 27-22 with another 3-pointer on the following offensive possession.
A layup from sophomore Natalie Kammer and Trieloff’s third 3-pointer in two minutes gave Fort Atkinson a 32-25 advantage with 10:31 to play.
Monona Grove went on a 15-8 run to tie the game at 40-40 with 3:01 to play and took the lead at 42-40 with 1:55 remaining in the game.
Staude gave the Blackhawks the lead with a 3-pointer on the left wing with 43 seconds left and sophomore Taylor Marquart made it 44-42 with a free throw with 22.7 to play.
Fort Atkinson got the ball back, but missed the front end of their free-throw attempt.
With less than five seconds to go, Gorton spun and connected on a step-back 3-pointer to give the Silver Eagles a one-point lead.
The shot left Fort Atkinson with 0.9 seconds left and a heave off the inbounds was knocked away.
Staude finished with 16 points for the Blackhawks.
Fort Atkinson will take on rival Jefferson in a non-conference game Saturday in Jefferson at 7:15 p.m.
MONONA GROVE 45, FORT ATKINSON 44
Monona Grove 13 32 — 45
Fort Atkinson 21 23 — 44
Monona Grove (fg ftm-fta pts) — Poole 1 0-0 3, Nelson 2 2-2 4, Christiansen 7 0-0 14, Gorton 4 0-0 11, Yundt 2 1-2 6, Moreau 1 0-0 3. Totals — 16 3-4 45.
Fort Atkinson — Kammer 1 0-2 2, Marquart 1 1-2 3, Staude 6 1-3 16, Trieloff 4 0-0 11, Schoenike 3 3-5 9. Totals — 15 5-12 44.
3-point goals — MG (Poole, Gorton 3, Moreau) 5; FA (Wolfram, Staude 3, Trieloff 3) 7. Total fouls — MG 14, FA 9.