MND basketball adds to legacy with district title

Mount Notre Dame wins the district championship over Lakota East, 52-48, Saturday, March 7.

Mount Notre Dame basketball teams don’t have to dig deep to learn about the Cougars’ accomplished basketball legacy.

The tradition, which includes five Division I state championships, is emblazoned on banners hanging on the gym walls and shows a gap this year’s team hoped to fill.

Mount Notre Dame took care of some of that Saturday at Harrison. The Cougars came from behind in the second half to edge Lakota East, 52-48, and win their first district championship since 2009.

Senior Blair Carlin led three Mount Notre Dame players in double figures with 16 points as the Cougars extended their winning streak to 10 games.

“We don’t think about the past much at Mount Notre Dame,” said the 5-foot-7 Carlin, who sank 7-of-10 free throws, including two with 13.1 seconds left to clinch the win. “We wanted to be the team to bring it back.”

Mount Notre Dame (23-2), the No. 2 team in the Associated Press Division I statewide poll and Enquirer’s Division I coaches’ poll, is scheduled to play Kettering Fairmont (19-7) in a regional semifinal next on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. at a site to be determined. The game normally would be played at Fairmont, but Ohio High School Athletic Association rules prohibit teams from playing tournament games on their home courts.

Fairmont advanced with a 55-47 upset of Mason (20-5) in the first of Saturday’s four games at Harrison.

Junior Lauren Van Kleunen scored 19 points to lead the Comets, who finished the regular season ranked eighth in the Associated Press Division I statewide poll and tied for third in the Enquirer poll.

After trailing by four at halftime, the Cougars earned a 38-38 tie going into the fourth quarter before taking the lead for good on an unusual five-point possession that featured another Mount Notre Dame player getting fouled while senior Dani Kissel was sinking a go-ahead 3-pointer from the right corner. Junior guard-forward Abbie Scholz followed up with a putback for a 43-38 lead.

Senior guard Kandace Satterwhite led both teams with 19 points for Lakota East (19-7), the Enquirer’s sixth-ranked team. Satterwhite scored on a layup off a spin move and an eight-foot pullup jumper from the left baseline to personally cut a seven-point Mount Notre Dame lead to three, 50-47, 58 seconds left in the game.

Mount Notre Dame’s current winning streak started with a convincing 52-31 win over Lakota East on Jan. 20. The Thunderhawks posed more of a challenge in the rematch

Satterwhite scored 11 points and the Thunderhawks overcame Mount Notre Dame’s 20-10 first-half rebounding advantage to lead, 29-25, at halftime. The Cougars had 11 offensive rebounds, but they shot just 29.6 percent from the field (8-for-27) in the half.

The Thunderhawks shot 52.6 percent (10-of-19) before halftime.

“I think it was our energy,” Carlin said. “They were hitting their shots and we weren’t.”

Mount Notre Dame coach Scott Rogers credited Lakota East’s defensive adjustments with the Thunderhawks’ improvement from the first game.

“We felt really fortunate that we were only down by four (at halftime),” he said. “The other thing we weren’t doing is we weren’t attacking the basket. Scoring inside got us going.

“Even though Lakota East was playing that box-and-one or triangle-and-two, our kids figured out that we could still play basketball. We challenged the kids, and they responded like champions.”

Lakota East (19-7) – Blomer 2 0 5, Satterwhite 7 2 19, Rodgers 1 1 4, Thomas 3 2 8, Goodwin 0 1 1, Wills 2 3 7, Azuka 2 0 4. Totals: 48.

Mount Notre Dame (23-2) – Davenport 4 2 11, Carlin 3 7 16, Scholz 3 0 6, Kissel 5 2 13, Weeks 1 0 2, Crace 1 0 2, Pisciotta 0 2 2. Totals: 17 13 52.

Halftime: Lakota East, 29-25. 3-pointers: L 5 (Satterwhite 3, Blomer, Rodgers), M 5 (Carlin 3, Davenport, Kissel).

Mason (20-5) – Van Kleunen 9 1 19, Campbell 0 1 1, Brinkmann 3 1 7, Mason 1 0 2, Mowbray 3 10 16, Norton 1 0 2. Totals 17 13 47.

Kettering Fairmont (19-7) – Roe 1 6 9, Clemente 5 6 18, Morgan 7 4 18, Etter 1 0 2, Connally 1 2 4, Nichwitz 0 1 1, Hughes 0 1 1, Roe 1 0 2. Totals: 16 20 55.

Halftime: Kettering Fairmont, 25-18. 3-pointers: M 0, F 3 (Clemente 2, Roe).

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