MONROE — It was supposed to be a Division IV girls tournament basketball game.
But it quickly turned into a game of Pop-a-Shot for Legacy Christian Academy, Monday Feb. 24 at Monroe High School.
The second-seeded Knights drained seven three pointers from all parts of the court and seemingly made just about every other shot as well in breaking open a close game with a 15-2 run en route to a 69-40 win over Felicity-Franklin in a sectional final. Emma Hess scored a game-high 28 points — seven during the decisive run — and Kathleen Ahner added 21 for the 19-3 Knights, who will play top-seeded Tri-Village in a district final at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29 at Troy.
“We were really feeling it tonight,” Hess said. “We’ve been shooting well in practice and I think that translates well into the game. We were all making shots tonight.”
Legacy built a 40-23 halftime lead and increased it to 53-31 midway through the third period thanks to — what else — a trio of treys from Ahner (two) and Hess.
“That’s who we are,” Coach Mark Combs said. “We’ve made more threes than most (teams) have taken.”
The Cardinals (8-17) were also able to shoot and get some good looks in the first quarter, overcoming an early deficit to tie it at 17-all after one and take an 18-17 lead seconds into the second quarter.
“To Felicity’s credit, the first quarter they shot the lights out,” Combs said.
But then talent won out.
“I’ve got kids that can shoot,” Combs said. “They get good looks out there. We were constantly able to score. (Felicity) ebbed and flowed a bit. They stopped being able to get the ball inside.”
Said Hess, “We just really turned up our defense.”
Anna Swisshelm led Felicity-Franklin with 13 points. Katie Leach scored eight for Legacy Christian, while Maddy Combs added seven, and Margaret Kensinger five.
Tri-Village finished the regular season third in the state poll and has averaged nearly 79 points per game in the tournament.
“(At this point) you’re going to play someone really good,” Combs said. “It just gets tougher. Hey, we’re sectional champs.”
Cincinnati Country Day 62, Cedarville 12
Cedarville hung around with the state’s sixth-ranked D-IV team for the first four minutes, trailing just 2-0. But then Country Day began to force turnover after turnover and ran out to a 17-2 lead after the first quarter and 40-4 at halftime, activating the running clock rule the Ohio High School Athletic Association enacted a few years ago.
Cedarville turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter and eight more in the second while Country Day pressed and trapped at every opportunity.
“All of their kids are tall and physical,” Cedarville Coach Josh Mason said. “You can’t emulate that type. These types of teams that trap … we’ve struggled with them all year.”
Luisa Christian led Cedarville with five points, while Ciara Horney had four, Elly Coe two, and Anna Shepherd one. Seniors Maddie Kinney, and Regan Coffey played their final games for Cedarville, which ends its season 12-13.
Sabrina DiBello led Country Day (23-2) with 13 points and scored her 1,000 career point in the second half. Top-seeded Country Day plays No. 2 Mechanicsburg in a district final Saturday.
Contact Scott Halasz a 937-502-4507.