WAPAKONETA — The Upper Scioto Valley girls basketball team saved it best for last, defeating Marion Local 47-43 in overtime to move on to the Wapakoneta Division IV district title game at 7 p.m. Saturday against top-seeded Minster.
It took overtime for the Rams to get the victory, as they struggled mightily to find any offensive flow in the first half.
Marion Local (14-11) tied the game after of play at 8-8 but the Flyers used a 14-5 second period to go the half with a 22-13 lead.
The Rams hit only 4-of-18 from the field in the first two quarters (0-7 on three pointers) for a measly 22 percent. Stand-out Emily Patton was held scoreless in the first two quarters of play and would need a big second half from her to get back into the game.
USV, and Patton, came out in the third period very aggressive on both offense and defense and they slowly worked their way back into the game.
Patton would score 10 points in the third period and the Rams outscored the Flyers 15-11 to pull to with-in 33-28 going to the fourth quarter.
USV finally went ahead at the 2:19 mark of the final quarter Haley Hunsicker made one of two free throws to put the Rams up 37-36.
Shelby Spradlin fouled out for the Rams at that and Marion Local regained the lead 40-37 with less than a minute to play.
Alyssa Miller than made a driving basket and was fouled and converted the free throw to tie the game at 40 each and send the game to overtime.
“We needed a bucket and I happened to make it,” Miller said. ‘That brought up the intensity of the team and we knew we had to step up when Shelby fouled out.”
The Rams would outscore the Flyers 7-4 in the extra session to grab the win and improve to 21-3 on the season.
Patton scored a game 16 points and got help from Miller (11), Kaycee Carroll (9), and Spradlin who finished with 8 points.
”We really struggled in the first half, we had to get people moving and we stepped up our defensive pressure in the second half. “Rams coach Mike Risner said. “The girls hung tough and I’m really proud of them.”
USV finished the game hitting only 24 percent from the floor as they finished the game connecting on 12-of-50 from the field. But they were excellent at the free throw line converting on 22-of-29 in the game, including 11-of-16 in the fourth quarter and overtime to seal the victory.
Marion Local got a team high 13 point effort from Kara Evers coming off the bench.Natalie Rethman added 12 points for Marion Local.
“They made a comeback,” Flyers coach Beth Strieb said. “Give them credit, they came back and they made their free throws.”
New Bremen 23
The Wildcats had beaten the Cardinals by a score of 49-18 in the regular season and wasted little time in taking control in the second game of the evening.
Stingy man to man defense and 6-foot-2 sophomore center Courtney Prenger were simply too much for New Bremen to overcome.
Prenger would hit 4-of-5 from the floor in the first quarter on her way to a game-high 19 point effort, she also added five blocks in the game.
The Cardinals were held to 5 points total in the second and third quarters and trailed 31-12 going to the final period of play.
The number one seeded Wildcats move on to face the number two Upper Scioto Valley squad for the District title and the right to move on to the Elida regional.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0468.