DELPHOS – Delphos Jefferson’s Lyv Lindeman may be a freshman but the Wildcat came up with a veteran performance in crunch time to help her team to a thrilling 48-47 victory over Paulding and a Division III Sectional title Saturday night.
With the win, Jefferson improves to 20-4 on the year and advances to the district semifinal game in Elida at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night. Paulding ends its year with a 16-7 mark.
Earlier in the year, Jefferson escaped with a two point win against Paulding and Jefferson head coach Denise Lindeman said this was a gutty performance from her team to pull out the win.
“The girls never gave up,” Denise Lindeman said. “We struggled offensively and a little bit defensively and yet they came together and found a way to win as a team. They are perfect matchup with us. They have the guards and the post players and thank god we came out on top tonight.”
The Jefferson head coach can thank her freshman daughter Lyv LIndeman for her fourth quarter heroics to help snare the win, along with the Delphos defense.
With a little more than two and a half minutes remaining in the game, Paulding held a slim 41-40 advantage and had the ball. The Panthers quickly went to a spread type offense to help bleed the clock but Lyv Lindeman thwarted those efforts when she stole the ball and then in went in for the bucket and the foul. After completing the three-point play, Jefferson held the 44-42 lead.
“That was a big part and a big key to the game and at the end we gutted it out,” Denise Lindeman said. “Paulding is a nice team and I’m glad our girls came out with the win.”
With the lead and forcing two more turnovers in the final minute and a half, Paulding was forced to foul and Lyv Lindeman was sent to the free throw line where she sank 5 of 8 to ice the game.
Lyv Lindeman finished with a team-high 17 points and scored 10 of those in the final quarter.
Jefferson’s Aly Lindeman added 13 points and Lauren French, who had 10 rebounds, notched 10 points. French also had a big night defensively with three blocked shots. She was tasked, along with Brook Brinkman to cover Sadie Estelle and limited her to two points in the final eight minutes. Estelle finished the game with 13 points.
Denise Lindeman said the foul shooting overall was a key. The Wildcats hit 15 of 18 from the charity stripe.
Panther Janae Pease ended with 14 points and Leigha Egnor chipped in 12 points.
The two teams engaged in a defensive struggle in the first half. Delphos jumped out to a 12-4 advantage after the first eight minutes and owned an 18-9 lead with 5:36 left in the first half.
But Paulding, which had been struggling shooting from the outside, got two big 3-pointers from Jalynn Parrett to spearhead a 13-4 run to close out the second quarter and give the Panthers a 24-22 advantage at halftime.
Paulding head coach Matt Arellano credited Delphos for the win and said it was a tough won to lose.
“We wanted this game and this is a game we wanted,” Arellano “We looked forward to this game in the tournament and we came up one point short tonight.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.