Rivet guard Bailey Dreiman split the defense and scored to cut the margin to four points at the 7:22 mark.
What proved to be the turning point of the game came just over a minute later. Keene was whistled for her fourth foul and was forced to leave the game at 5:54 with the Lady Eagles leading 36-32.
Senior Brooklyn Ronsheim gave the Lady Eagles a nice lift in the absence of the team’s leading scorer, but Rivet capitalized and pulled to within 38-37 on a Dreiman field goal at the 3:30.
Coach Smith waited as long as he could to go back with his leading scorer. Keene re-entered the game at the 3:30 mark, but momentum was clearly shifting.
Katie Donovan hit a field goal and free throw to give the Lady Patriots a 40-38 lead with just under three minutes to play.
The Lady Eagles managed only a couple free throws the rest of the way. The shots that fell early in the game would not go when they needed them late. Jac-Cen-Del’s last field goal of the game came at the 4:39 mark.
Seniors Keene and Ronsheim led the Lady Eagles in the loss. Keene finished with a game-high 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field, while Ronsheim had seven points and seven rebounds.
“The two seniors played well,” Smith commented. “The two of them kept us is the game.”
For the game, the Lady Eagles were just 14-of-44 shooting from the field for 32 percent, but Rivet was not much better connecting on 20-of 61 shots for 33 percent.
Dreiman led the Lady Patriots in scoring with 17 points followed by Luaren Herman with 11.
“This is a group of kids with a lot of heart,” Smith commented. “I am so proud of this team and what they accomplished this season.”
The Lady Eagles finished the season with a record of 19-4.
“We had a really good year,” Keene commented after the game. “Everybody really came together ... it was like a family.”
Jac-Cen-Del (40) Hughes 5, Keene 27, Day 0, Ronsheim 7, Menchhofer 1, Ke. Bowling 0, Ka. Bowling 0, Wagner 0, Smith 0, Bruns 0.
Vincennes Rivet (50) Dreiman 17, L. Herman 11, Donovan 7, Ivers 9, Niehaus 4, Waggoner 2, Meeks 0, M. Herman 0, M. Heinz 0, Emmons 0, V. Heinz 0.