COLUMBUS - The official record will show that a basket by East Canton's Katy Arick with 10.7 seconds left gave the Wizards a 65-63 overtime victory over Patrick Henry in the Division IV girls basketball state semifinal at Ohio State's Schottenstein Center yesterday.
But the real culprit behind the Patriots' first and only loss this season? Turnovers.
PH turned the ball over 23 times, including eight in a fourth-quarter meltdown that saw the Patriots throw away a nine-point lead with 5:15 to play.
A clutch 3-pointer by Patrick Henry's Alison Meyer with 13 seconds left in regulation gave the Patriots a second chance. But Arick's last-second shot broke a tie, ended the Patriots' season at 25-1, and sent East Canton (24-2) to tomorrow's championship game against defending D-IV state champion Berlin Hiland.
Hiland beat Fort Loramie 49-47 in yesterday's first semifinal.
"We made some mental mistakes, and at this time of year you can't make mental mistakes," Patrick Henry coach Rick Schwiebert said. "I was surprised [at the way their press forced turnovers]. We worked on it all week, and the kids did a terrific job on it.
"But we just weren't aggressive with the basketball."
What made the defeat especially bitter was that the Patriots controlled the game through most of the first three quarters.
Patrick Henry scored eight of the game's first 10 points, and only sophomore guard Caitlin Sharp kept East Canton in the contest. She scored seven of her team's 11 first-quarter points as PH led by only three.
In the second quarter Patrick Henry pushed to a 29-20 lead with 2:14 left, but East Canton scored five points in a 15-second span to slice the lead to 29-25 with 36.6 seconds left.
Danielle Collins' 3-pointer from the right wing with just five seconds left in the half gave Patrick Henry a 32-25 lead at the break.
In the third quarter Jenna Inselmann's 3-pointer and Stacie Coressel's fast-break layup gave PH a 37-25 advantage with just 1:15 gone. But Sharp, who finished with a game-high 31 points, scored seven in a 9-0 East Canton run that cut the Patriots' lead to three points at the 3:54 mark.
Patrick Henry rebuilt its advantage to 45-36 to start the final period and led 49-40 with
5:15 left, then did not score again until only 48.9 seconds were left and the Wizards had scored 12 unanswered points to lead 52-49.
"We figured if we couldn't press them, we wouldn't have much of a chance," East Canton coach Tom Davis said. "They had experience, so we knew they would be tough to press, but we had to press them if we were going to do anything against them."
Patrick Henry showed its heart by coming back from four points down in the final 35 seconds. Inselmann's 3-pointer with 27.8 seconds left kept the Patriots in the game, and after two East Canton free throws, Meyer's 3-pointer tied the game again with 13 seconds left.
"That finish showed the caliber of this team, the heart of this team, to stick with it the way they did," Schwiebert said. "[East Canton] may have won a ballgame, but I feel our kids won a lot of respect."
In overtime the teams traded baskets until Inselmann made a 3-pointer that gave PH a 63-62 lead with 1:59 left. But an East Canton free throw tied the game with 1:24 to go and set the stage for Arick's game-winning shot from the right of the paint.
Arick finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. Karris Kandel added 14 points. Coressel led the Patriots with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Meyer posted a double-double with 10 rebounds to go with her 14 points. Collins added 15 points.
Contact John Wagner at:
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