Top-seeded Unity Christian dodged a tense upset bid to stay in the running for a second consecutive state championship.

Unity battled through a tough Davenport Assumption defense to earn a 40-37 victory in the opening game of Class 3A play, a back-and-forth affair that wasn’t decided until a long Assumption inbounds pass went astray just before the final buzzer.

Tyra Schuiteman led Unity (24-1) with 14 points and 14 rebounds and made the game’s biggest play on defense. Eighth-seeded Assumption trailed 38-37 in the final minute and was working for a potential go-ahead basket when Schuiteman leaped and intercepted a pass in front of the Assumption bench. She was fouled immediately and sank two free throws with 27.8 seconds remaining for the final margin.

Gracie Schoonhoven added 13 points, half her season average, and grabbed seven rebounds. Jenna Bouma had 10 points and eight rebounds for the defending champs, who outrebounded Assumption 37-25 and blocked six shots – three by the 6-foot Schuiteman.

Assumption played good enough defense to win it, holding Unity to 34.3 percent shooting, but could not muster enough offense. Dawsen Dorsey scored 13 points and Ava Schubert added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Assumption (15-10), which shot 31.4 percent overall and was just 2-for-15 on 3-pointers.

But Unity had to earn every point in a game that had eight ties and seven lead changes.

Assumption used an 11-1 run to rally from an eight-point deficit early in the second half to a 28-26 lead heading into the fourth quarter. After five lead changes, Assumption tied it for the final time at 37 on Maddy Nigey’s putback with 1:21 remaining.

Assumption had a chance to break that tie seconds later, but missed a close-in shot and Unity’s Cassady Dekkers sank one of two free throws to put her team ahead to stay.