XENIA — In a girls high school basketball contest that could be a potential tournament showdown in the near future, host Legacy Christian handed Mechanicsburg just its second loss of the season, 55-44.
The host Knights (11-3) grabbed their first lead of the game at the 2:41 mark of the second quarter on a Kathleen Ahner 3-pointer from the top of the arc. Ahner then drained another trey on Legacy’s next possession, then Caroline Kensinger followed that up with a jump shot score from the left side. Ahner then hit her own jumper from the left with 22 seconds left in the half to give Legacy a 26-18 lead on a 10-0 run to end the half.
The Knights outscored the Indians, 14-5, in the second quarter.
“The end to that second quarter did us in, but Legacy shot the lights out tonight,” Mechanicsburg coach Christie Dodane said, moments after talking with her team. “We just didn’t hit our shots like they did, but you’ve gotta give them credit. They didn’t miss very much.”
Legacy needed a total team effort to hand Mechanicsburg (15-2) just its second loss of the season.
Ahner finished with a team-best 16 points, including a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Emma Hess scored 13 points, despite missing a good portion of the final quarter with a leg cramp. Maddie Combs finished with nine points, Katie Leach added seven points, Margaret Kensinger finished with six and Caroline Kensinger scored four fourth-quarter points.
“This was definitely a total team effort, and a great win for Legacy,” Knights coach Mark Combs said. “Mechanicsburg and Christie (Dodane) do a great job, and they have great players. Grace (Forrest) and (Kasey) Schipfer, they have some great players over there. We knew what we had to do, and it helped that they missed some shots they’d normally make, too.”
Schipfer came in as the Ohio Heritage Conference’s scoring leader with an 18 points-per-game average, but she fouled out in the game’s final seconds and finished with 10 points. Forrest led the Indians with 14 points and Morgan Hamby scored 13.
“We dug ourselves in a hole and just couldn’t get out of it. When you dig yourself a hole against a really good team, it’s tough to get back out,” Dodane said. “I would play them again, just because it’s good to play against great competition.”
And the two Division IV powerhouses could potentially meet again, somewhere in the postseason.
Both Mechanicsburg and Legacy Christian are in the Division IV post-season sectionals. Mechanicsburg will start out in the Sidney brackets, while Legacy will start in Monroe. Depending on where they align themselves in the bracket, the two teams could face each other sometime in the district tournament.
But first, there’s the rest of the regular season to play. Mechanicsburg gets back into OHC play with a 7:30 p.m. game Saturday at home against West Jefferson. Legacy hits the road for another nonleague challenge. The Knights have a 2:30 p.m. afternoon contest Saturday at Bradford (9-4)
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.