WAYLAND – Olivia Roe just wants to keep playing basketball.
And for a brief moment during Tuesday’s Class B regional semifinal matchup against Eaton Rapids, the Portland senior thought her high school career was going to come to an end.
Until she came to the rescue.
Trailing by three with less than a minute to play, Roe nailed a 3-pointer to force overtime, which led to the Raiders picking up a 47-45 victory over the Greyhounds at Wayland Union High School.
Junior guard Jorie Rutkowski hit the game-winning layup in OT with second remaining to setup a regional championship date with No. 3-ranked Grand Rapids South Christian Thursday.
“It (losing) was in the back of mind because, obviously, you don’t want this to end,” said Roe, who scored a game-high 25 points. “I knew we had to fight back, and, honestly, the way we’ve played throughout district is the best basketball we’ve played.
“We won on a game-winner our first district game, so we knew we could do it.”
After leading the entire contest, the Raiders (15-9) relinquished their lead for the first time late in the third quarter. Portland took a 32-31 lead into the final eight minutes, but the Greyhounds (8-16) opened the fourth quarter with a quick 5-0 run.
Eaton Rapids senior Loriel Scott helped the Greyhounds stay in front of their CAAC White rival down the stretch by scoring four of her 10 points in the final minutes. Greyhound senior Baylee Bancroft, who netted a team-high 11 points, hit two free throws to give her team a 3-point lead before Roe’s heroics forced extra time.
In overtime, Bancroft opened with a bucket to give Eaton Rapids a quick edge, but Rutkowski and Roe retaliated with a 4-0 run. Bancroft tied the game at 45 before Rutkowski’s layup closed the game.
“About the last quarter, with Jorie (Rutkowski), we decided we were going to go with a straight senior lineup,” said Portland coach Shawn Seal, whose teams ended the regular season on a three-game losing streak, which includes a loss to Eaton Rapids. “I knew calmer heads would prevail when they were in there.
“That’s the leadership we’ve looked for all year. We’ve won a lot of close games, so it plays well for us.”
After finishing the regular season with just five wins, the Greyhounds put together a stellar postseason run that ends with a district championship. And despite a rough regular season, Scott believes Eaton Rapids salvaged its season with this playoff push.
“A lot of people didn’t expect us to win the district championship,” she said. “With us going through the season, and not having as good of a record as we had hoped to, we knew that it was in us to make it this far.”
Portland senior Rachel Click scored 12 points and Rutkowski added eight.
The Greyhounds’ Anne-Marie Wright scored eight points, while Paige Boden finished with seven.
Contact James L. Edwards III at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.