Notre Dame senior Christy Ohlinger scored a season-high 19 points to help the Eagles improve to 22-3 and advance to Saturday's district final against the Northview-Central Catholic winner.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
If Notre Dame is to make a long run in the tournament that will likely require senior shooting guard Christy Ohlinger to figure prominently in the Eagles scoring plans.
She provided that kind of offensive lift Wednesday night against Southview in a Division I girls basketball district semifinal at Central Catholic.
Ohlinger knocked down five 3-pointers on her way to pouring in a season-high 19 points to lead Notre Dame to a 49-43 victory.
"She shot the ball extremely well," Notre Dame coach Travis Galloway said, about Ohlinger. "We didn't do a good job executing at times, but we did enough to win."
The Eagles (22-3), who will meet the Northview-Central Catholic winner Saturday in a district final, led the entire way.
Tierra Floyd also finished with 10 points for Notre Dame to go along with four rebounds and three assists.
Kaayla McIntyre and Jayda Worthy contributed to a balanced attack by scoring eight points apiece and grabbing four rebounds apiece in a game Notre Dame commenced with a 11-1 lead.
"We knew we had to come out focused and ready to play," said Ohlinger, who opened the game’s scoring with a 3-pointer.
Natalie Harlan and Taryn Stanley carried the Cougars, scoring 14 and 12 points, respectively. Bailey Hejl added eight points in a game Southview (17-7) trailed by as much as 11 points in the first half.
"They like to play more of a halfcourt game and we're kind of helter-skelter, so it was a battle of different wills," Northview coach Tim Nottke said. "I really like the way our kids came out and played today."
Harlan, a senior, who had come off the bench for most of the season, was inserted into the starting lineup against the Eagles and played perhaps her best game of the season.
"I think Natalie stepped up and played extremely well," Nottke said.
However, the Cougars' slow start put them in a tough spot against an Eagles team that showed after halftime it was more than comfortable holding on to the basketball and working the clock until they had a clear look at the basket before taking a shot.
After taking a 24-20 lead into halftime, Notre Dame came out in the third quarter and outscored Southview 17-12 during the period to take a 41-32 edge into the fourth quarter.
Ohlinger, whose previous high was 14 points scored in the second game of the season, drained three 3-pointers during the third quarter to carry the Eagles.
"Give Ohlinger credit, she knocked shots down," Nottke said.
The Eagles' top outside scoring threat hopes her performance and the team's play against Southview is a sign of better team play out of the Three Rivers Athletic Conference champions than what they produced during the regular season.
"This is more important than the regular-season schedule because it's the tournament," Ohlinger said. "We hadn't been playing well recently."
Notre Dame didn’t allow Southview to get any closer than six points during the fourth quarter.
Notre Dame was guilty of committing 21 turnovers, while Southview committed 15.
However, the Eagles coach believes his team did what was necessary to get by.
"At this point of the season it doesn’t matter if it’s an ugly win or not," Galloway said.
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade