Saturday, March 17, 2001

McNicholas wins state title

Rockets overpower Canfield 52-40 in final

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COLUMBUS The McNicholas players didn't just want to win their school's first girls state basketball championship. They wanted to go out with style.

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Rockets celebrate
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Coach Rob Heise
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Brittany Thomas, Jessica Breving, Liz Flammer and Lauren Branson.
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Ashley Clark
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(Steven M. Herppich photos)
        So, as the final buzzer sounded on their 52-40 victory over Canfield in the Division II title game Saturday, the Rockets raced to center court and dived head-first into a pile around the Ohio State logo at midcourt of the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

        “One day people will say, "Remember that team that slid head-first?,'” McNicholas senior Ashley Clark said. “We had it all planned out. We wanted to go out big.”

        McNick coach Rob Heise let that winning feeling wash over him a little earlier.

        “The feeling that last 30 seconds, when we knew we had it, that feeling is priceless,” Heise said. “To finally actually do it and be the champion in what you do, it's a feeling of elation.”

        It was McNicholas's first state title in basketball and third over all. The McNicholas boys soccer team won the state championship in 1984 and the baseball team came through in 1998.

        The Rockets took a quick 9-0 lead and never allowed the Cardinals to get closer than three points, that coming in the third quarter at 33-30. But, Clark and Lynn Oberschmidt scored field goals during the final 30 seconds to extend the McNicholas lead to nine at 43-34 at the break. Oberschmidt scored eight points in the quarter.

        “I attribute the open shots to the screens that were set,” said Oberschmidt, a 5-foot-10 junior forward who sank the winning free throws with 12.3 seconds remaining to beat Hartley in the semifinals.

        McNicholas locked the victory up with six free throws during the final 2:01 of the game, three by Kendra Hornschemeier, who had 13 points and contributed three assists.

        Clark finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.

        Heise brought the team to Columbus last year to watch the tournament, an experience that apparently benefited the players.

        “As soon as I walked in the arena to watch Eastern Brown (Division III semifinals), it hit me,” Clark said. “The atmosphere is great and the crowd was yelling. It's a wonderful experience. I don't think it has sunk in yet.”

Kendra Hornschemeier
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Lauren Branson
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Liz Flammer
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        CANFIELD (40) - Vlajkovich 2-9 6-6 10, Miller 1-2 4-4 6, Martin 8-23 2-6 19, Playforth 0-9 0-0 0, Fening 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 1-3 0-0 2, Hoffmn 0-1 0-0 0, Gifford 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 12-49 15-20 40

        McNICHOLAS (51) - Flammer 1-2 0-0 2, Hornschemeier 4-7 5-8 13, B. Clark 2-7 4-4 8, A. Clark 5-8 0-3 10, Thomas 0-0 1-2 1, Oberschmidt 7-10 1-2 15, K. Breving 0-4 3-4 3. Totals: 19-38 14-23 52

        Canfield 5 16 13 6 - 40

        McNicholas19 8 16 9 - 52

        3-pointers: M 0-3, C 1-8 (Martin). Rebounds: M 30 (A. Clark 8, B. Clark 7). C 34 (Martin 9). Assists: M 13 (B. Clark 7, Hornschemeier 3). C 6 (Playforth 3). Turnovers: M 14, C 14. Steals: M 9 (Hornschemeier 5, A. Clark 2, B. Clark 2). C 5 (Martin 3). Blocks: M 7 (A. Clark 5). C 1. Officials: Chris Petush, Henry Armstead Jr., Carl Davidson. Attendance: 5,586. Records: C 21-7, M 22-6.

Boys basketball coverage
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