Wednesday night was all about defense at Luther Stover Memorial Gymnasium.
Host River View and visiting Rosecrans went tooth-and-nail and when the smoke cleared the Lady Bears had earned a hard-fought 37-33 victory in East Central Ohio League girls hoops action.
“We did a great job all night of communicating and switching,” RV coach Kevin Smith said. “They are a great team and we knew eventually they would find open people and start knocking down shots.”
For the Lady Bishops (2-1, 5-1), those shots started falling just a little too late as a fourth quarter rally came up short.
With 6:15 left in the game, Sami Straits knocked down a 3-pointer for the Old Gold and Black to open up a 30-23 lead.
“That was a huge shot for the momentum of the game because the game had been two or four most of the way,” Smith said.
The Lady Bishops didn’t fold, going on a 7-3 run and capped by an Alexis Kirkbride triple with 2:20 left to make it 33-30.
Rosecrans was forced to foul Sam Ringwalt with 51.3 and 20.2 seconds, respectively. The first time Ringwalt missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but the second time she netted both making it 35-30.
Rosecrans got to within 35-33 on a Molly Nash trey, but Andi Daugherty nailed two freebies with 6.3 left to finish the scoring.
Neither team could get much going in the first half as the visitors led 7-5 at the first stoppage while the hosts took a 13-11 lead into halftime.
The Lady Bears took a 25-17 lead into the fourth quarter as Katie Daugherty and Ringwalt both scored five points in the period.
“We are a lot more experienced this year and we are learning what teams are trying to do defensively to take Andi away,” Smith said. “We are finding openings and the other girls are stepping up and knocking down shots.”
Andi Daugherty finished with 12 points to pace the Lady Bears while handing out four assists. Ringwalt finished with 11 points while Katie Daugherty had nine counters and nine boards. Justine Moran handed out five assists for RV.
“This was a huge win because they are the defending league champs,” Smith said. “One of our goals is to take that from them and tonight was a league win against a great team.”
Nash finished with 15 points to pace Rosecrans. Kirkbride added 11 counters.
River View got 10 points each from Bailey Moore and Ashley Stewart in a 39-37 overtime thriller in the junior varsity game.
Madeline Nash had 15 points and Jesse Kinder 11 for the Lady Bishops.