Crestview’s Kirstin Hicks drives the ball on Lincolnview’s Kaitlyn Brant in a game at Lincolnview High School Thursday. The Lady Knights won the game on a buzzer beater 42-41. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
BY BRIAN BASSETT
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
MIDDLE POINT - Lincolnview senior guard Katie Dye converted a layup with 9.2 seconds to play in the Lady Lancers' conference clash with cross-county rival Crestview Thursday night to give her team a 41-40 lead.
Unfortunately for the Lady Lancers, the game was decided by a first-timer to the rivalry when freshman post Emily Bauer laid in a basket with .6 seconds to play to give Crestview a 42-41 win.
"They're a good team," Crestview coach Greg Rickard said of Lincolnview. They are like two possessions away from having one loss instead of four. We knew, especially coming over here, with all their seniors, that is was going to be a battle."
Lancer coach Dan Williamson had similar thoughts to Rickard after the game. "We knew it was going to be a close game - and it was. We're just so close. We're six or seven points away from having one loss. It's frustrating as a coach to see the girls put that much work in. They've played so hard and have not been rewarded for that. It's fristrating."
Aside from a loss to state No. 1 Ottoville, the other three Lincolnview (9-4, 2-2) losses, including Thursday, have come in the final seconds - including two at the buzzer.
The Lady Lancers thought they had finally broken the spell when, after taking a timeout while trailing 40-39 with 18.5 seconds to play, Katie Dye drove the lane in put in a layup to give the home team a 41-40 lead with 9.2 seconds to play.
"Dribble penetration worked well for us all night. We kind of felt we wanted the ball in (Katie's) hands in that situation. We cleared everybody out and told her to make a play - whether it be getting to the basket or drawing another defender and dishing it off to someone else. (Katie) did a nice job tonight of getting the ball to the basket, and she finished off the play," explained Williamson.
Without hesitation sophomore point guard Mackenzie Riggenbach brought the ball upcourt, dribbled into the lane, and when she drew several defenders, dished the ball off the the open Bauer. Bauer did the rest, laying the ball in with .6 seconds showing on the clock. A Lincolnview in-bounds pass was then intercepted to seal the win for the Lady Knights.
"We talked about maybe calling a timeout, but it was one of those things with them pressing, we kind of got ahead of it," Rickard described about not taking a timeout after the Katie Dye layup. "I didn't call a timeout, we just kept going because the defense was spread out. Then Mac (Riggenbach) drew Emily's girl and (Emily) kind of dropped to the basket. It was good court awareness by Mac to get (Emily) the ball."
Bauer had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Lady Knights (11-1, 4-0) - none more important than the last two - despite only scoring in the second and fourth quarters. She missed some time with foul trouble.
"She's a freshman, she's still learning. It's a big jump in a game like this. She did struggle early but in the second half she came out and got some rebounds, and got some baskets for us," added Rickard.
Lincolnview's post player, senior Kaitlyn Brant, was equally effective in going toe-to-toe with the freshman. Brant had 10 points and eight boards while matching up with Bauer defensively before fouling out with less than a minute to play in the game.
"Kaitlyn has done an excellent job this year. She's coming back from her knee injury (last year), but I really can't tell that she had it. She moves well, she's physical - she's that rebounder that we need her to be. She did a nice job of playing Bauer physical in the first half," said Williamson, also noting the job senior guard Kaylee Thatcher did holding Crestview's second-leading scorer, sophomore forward Lindsey Motycka, to six points.
Senior guard Claire Dye hit two shots, including a tree, to help lead Lincolnview (9-4) to a 14-9 lead after a quarter. Their lead shrunk to three by halftime, and Crestview took a 31-30 lead after three quarters, thanks to seven points by Riggenbach in the third.
Neither team could gain a true advantage in the fourth, which was littered with ties before a Bauer layup and a free throw from junior forward Kirstin Hicks gave Crestview a 40-37 lead with 1:38 to play in the game.
After two Katie Dye free throws, sophomore guard Kennis Mercer had a chance to ice the game at the 24.5 mark, but missed the front end of the one-and-one opportunity, giving new life to Lincolnview.
Then Lincolnview called the timeout leading to the eventual Dye layup.
"You've got to give credit to Crestview, when we scored that last basket they could have folded, and they didn't. They went down, made a play, and won the game. They made the plays they needed to make, not that we didn't, they just made one more," added Williamson.
Katie Dye led the Lancers with 14 points, and along with Brant's 10, Claire Dye added eight. Lincolnview shot 45 percent (13-of-29) fromt he field in total.
"It's a confidence booster," said Rickard of the win. "We talked to the girls about playing in these close games. You're never going to be able to respond to them later on if you were never in them. It's kind of good to see how you respond, and it was kind of good to see us fight back."
Riggenbach led Crestview with 14 points. After Bauer's 12, Motycka and Mercer each added 6. Crestview shot 47 percent (17-of-36) from the field.
CRESTVIEW (2pt. 3pt. FT Tot.)
Motycka 2-3 0-0 2-4 6, Bauer 6-8 0-0 0-0 12, Riggenbach 4-8 2-5 0-0 14, Mercer 0-3 2-2 0-1 6, Hicks 1-1 0-0 1-2 3, Henry 0-3 0-0 1-2 1, Crowle 0-3 0-0 0-0 0.
K. Dye 5-6 0-1 4-5 14, C. Dye 1-3 2-4 0-0 8, Brant 3-4 0-0 4-5 10, J. Thatcher 0-2 0-1 3-6 3, K. Thatcher 1-6 0-0 2-4 4, McCleery 1-2 0-0 0-0 2, Stemen 0-0 0-0 0-0 0.
Crestview 9 10 12 11 - 42
Lincolnview 14 8 8 11 - 41