Saturday, March 17, 2001
Holgate makes final on buzzer beater
By ANDY RESNIK
Associated Press Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio Alissa Gill knew how much time was on the clock. The rest, well ... her memory is kind of fuzzy.
Gill made a 40-foot 3-pointer for Holgate at the end of regulation Friday, and the Lady Tigers went on to beat Worthington Christian 70-65 in overtime to advance to the Division IV state title game.
Following a timeout, the 5-foot-5 sophomore guard took the inbound pass, looked at the clock and raced up the floor. She stopped just passed center court and, with all her might, threw up a shot near the O in the Ohio State emblem on the Value City Arena floor.
Swish! 61-61. The Lady Tigers (24-2) outscored the Warriors (23-4) 9-4 in overtime to get the victory.
I knew I had three seconds, but I had no idea when to let go of the ball, Gill said.
She was the luckiest girl in the world to hit that shot, said Worthington Christian's Nicole Stone, the Division IV co-player of year who scored 22 points before fouling out in overtime.
It was almost like a miracle, said Worthington Christian coach Chris Joseph. It's almost like it was meant to be.
Holgate trailed by 13 points in the third quarter and 11 in fourth but rallied behind Vanessa Rothman, who scored seven points in a 9-0 run that pulled the Lady Tigers within 48-46.
After the Warriors pushed their lead back to five points, Rothman, who finished with 29 points, hit a jumper and an off-balance 3-pointer to make it 60-58 with five seconds to play.
Worthington Christian's Karah Walton, who scored 22 points, had a chance to put the game away, but missed one of her two free throws with 3.8 seconds remaining.
That put the game in the hands of Gill, although Holgate coach Bruce Schlosser said he really didn't have a plan for the final play.
Basically we just put our four best shooters on, he said. That's a situation where whoever got the ball was going to take it as deep as they could and get to the 3-point line and shoot it.
Holgate, runner-up in its only other state tourney in 1979, will play Jackson Center for the Division IV state title at 5 p.m. Saturday. Jackson Center advanced by beating Bedford Chanel 67-62 Friday.
Christen Halberstadt had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Meghan Zorn had 20 points and nine boards for the Tigers (26-1).
Emily Byrd added 11 points for fourth-ranked Jackson Center, including the tying and go-ahead layups down the stretch.
Chanel's Amber Gooden, who shared the Division IV player of the year award with Zorn and Stone, scored 14 points, including a turnaround jumper that tied the game at 54 with 3:07 to play.
The fifth-ranked Firebirds (22-4), making their first state tournament appearance, took their first lead of the game moments later when Lisa Piechowski, who had 10 points, scored on a runner.
That's when Byrd, who scored seven points in the fourth quarter, took over.
She scored on a driving layup to tie it at 56, then had a three-point play seconds later to give Jackson Center the lead for good.
When you are under four minutes left in the game and it's tied 56-all, one or two missed baskets and a made basket by the other team and it's all over when you get down this far, said Chanel coach Michael Coreno.
Alison Bales had 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead unbeaten and top-ranked Beavercreek to a 48-31 victory over Cleveland East Tech (23-3) in a Division I state semifinal.
The Battling Beavers (27-0) will play fifth-ranked Dayton Chaminade-Julienne in the title game at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Lady Eagles (25-2) advanced by beating Toledo Central Catholic (24-3) 56-36 Friday night behind 24 points from first-team All-Ohioan Megan Duffy.
In the other state finals Saturday, South Euclid Regina takes on Eastern Brown for the Division III title at 11 a.m., and McNicholas faces Canfield for the Division II crown at 2 p.m.
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