FAIRFIELD – Madeira and Mariemont had no illusions regarding the way the third round of this season’s series would be played. They both knew it would be physical. They were both right. Madeira (25-0) was able to hold off Mariemont (19-6) in a Division III sectional final, 38-31, at Fairfield to advance to the district tournament.
The Amazons displayed an energetic, smothering defense that was the difference in the game. Madeira allowed the Warriors just four points in the fourth quarter, after a 14-9 third quarter run from Mariemont cut Madeira’s lead to 29-27 heading to the final quarter.
Madeira senior guard Celia Kline minded the big shot for the Amazons down the stretch.
“Celia hit some big shots and we got defensive stops when we needed to,” said Madeira coach Haley Warden.
Kline, who leads the Cincinnati Hills League in scoring with 21.1 points per game, hit a pair of 3-pointers to start the fourth quarter and put some distance between the Amazons and Warriors. Celia finished with a game-high 20 points. No other player on either team had more than eight.
“They went on a little run there in the third and I kind of thought, this is my time,” said Celia. “I had to let it come to me in the beginning. I didn’t get as many shots as I would have liked but when they were open I had to execute.”
Celia went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and 6-of-7 at the foul line. Celia’s twin sister, Mallory, added six points, while Jamie Grob, Mary Englert and Nikki Macke rounded out the Amazons’ scorers for the game — only the starting five attempted a shot.
Mariemont didn’t play bad defensively either, the Warriors simply didn’t have an answer for Kline at the other end. Mariemont actually dominated Madeira in the rebounding department, 45-20. The Warriors had 21 offensive rebounds to Madeira’s three.
Mariemont 6-foot-4 sophomore center Rebekah Justice had 13 rebounds, to go with junior Aislyn Hartman’s eight points and eight boards. Mariah Morrow had nine rebounds for the Warriors.
All three games this season were decided by fewer than 12 points for the CHL rivals.
“It’s a great rivalry – we’re right next to each other in town,” Warden said. “It’s always a tight game whenever we play them. I kept telling the girls ‘they think they can beat us and they want to beat us.'”
Next up for Madeira is Anna in a district final Saturday at Springfield High School at a time to be determined.
Mariemont (19-6) – Jacobs 1 0 2, Whittelsey 1 1 3, Hartman 3 2 8, Griffith 1 1 4, Worple 1 0 2, Morrow 3 0 6, Justice 3 0 6. Totals: 13 4 31.
Madeira (25-0) – C. Kline 5 6 20, Mal. Kline 2 1 6, Grob 2 0 4, Englert 2 0 4, Macke 2 0 4. Totals: 13 7 38.
Halftime: Madeira 20-13. 3-pointers: MAR 1 (Griffith); MAD 5 (C. Kline 4, Mal. Kline).