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Amy Wilhelm and Cheryl Dreckman in a Classic

Amy Wilhelm and Cheryl Dreckman may have been their individual schools’ best of all time, but both teams were loaded with talent in the 1986–87 season. Morningside was coming off their first 20-win season and a trip to the NAIA nationals. Briar Cliff had broken a four-year spell of losing campaigns the season prior by playing .500 ball (13-13) in Cindy Kiser’s first year as head coach. As the team’s met on Wednesday the fourth at Allee, much was on the line. Although Morningside (13-7 overall) led the IO-KOTA with a 6-0 record, it was Briar Cliff (19-3, 4-2) that had the  number 16 national ranking at the time. The Lady Chargers needed a win to get within a game with three to go. A Lady Chiefs’ victory would ensure they’d share the title at worst. Though Morningside had won the last 11 against their rivals, only one of the most recent four had been a comfortable win, and this night, leading rebounder Paula Hunter was sitting in the stands, a victim of the “mumps.”

Once again, Terry Hersom of the SC Journal had a front-row seat for the action. He would be told by Wilhelm after the game, regarding Hunter’s absence, “We still had the same game plan; get the ball inside. Unfortunately, we didn’t do a very good job of that.” It really wouldn’t matter, though, as Wilhelm would score 43 points, one short of her then school record, on 16 of 25 from the field and 11 of 12 from the line. Briar Cliff won the battle of the boards, 45 to 33, but 24 turnovers kept the BCU offense at a disadvantage in the second half after trailing by just one at the break. Dreckman had a solid line for the night—22 points, seven rebounds, and four assists—but she had been “held in check for much of the game by Morningside’s Val Uken.” Rhonda Kujawa and Beth Sibenaller both scored 25 for the Chargers, but Morningside came out of halftime on fire, hitting 12 of their first 16 shots to outscore BCU 24-8. Even with Dreckman’s late-game streak—she scored 14 of her 22 points in the final six minutes—Morningside never let their rivals closer than eight points down the stretch, winning the shoot-out 105-93. Hersom quoted Wilhelm on the rivalry after the win: “Briar Cliff is the biggest game on our schedule every year, and this is the biggest one yet.”