Jefferson senior Macy Wallace (15) dribbles against the defense of Lincolnview senior Olivia Gorman during a Division IV sectional final on Saturday night in Paulding. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
Jefferson senior Macy Wallace (15) dribbles against the defense of Lincolnview senior Olivia Gorman during a Division IV sectional final on Saturday night in Paulding. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)

PAULDING — After losing their first matchup in the regular season, the Lincolnview Lady Lancers were hoping to even the score against the Delphos Jefferson Wildcats in the Division IV sectional finals at Paulding on Saturday night.

The Lancers’ strong defense in the fourth quarter helped secure a 35-33 victory.

After the first quarter, everyone in attendance knew it was going to be a battle. Both squads were evenly matched through one as the game swung back and forth. Alli McClurg knocked down the first basket of the night for the Lady Cats. She finished with 12 points and helped keep the game close early. Her three midway through the opening quarter gave Jefferson a 6-4, lead but Maddie Gorman responded in kind with a three from the wing and swung the lead back in favor of the Lancers.

The parade of three-balls continued when Macy Wallace connected on one from downtown and gave the Wildcats the advantage. Jefferson maintained the lead until Alena Looser hit a jump shot with :03 remaining and knotted things up at 11-11.

Lincolnview was hungry for a win and it showed in the second quarter. They racked up 10 rebounds and forced two critical turnovers while maintaining the lead throughout the second. Lakin Brant accounted for 6 of their 13 in the quarter and was the obvious leader on the court.

The Lady Lancers garnered an 8-point lead before Michelle Rode put an end to a 10-2 Lincolnview run with a put-back bucket. Devyn Carder followed up with a three and put the Cats within striking distance. A late foul sent Brant to the line right before halftime. She went 1-for-2 and gave the Lancers a 24-20 lead at the break.

Halftime adjustments worked well for the Wildcats in the third quarter. They went on an 8-2 run and tied the game up at 28-28. Wallace was pivotal to Jefferson’s comeback with 4 points during the scoring streak. Lincolnview bounced back with a layup by Alena Looser, but Wallace hit a late quarter jump shot in the paint and tied it up at 30 a piece entering the final quarter of action.

The game turned physical in the fourth quarter with hard drives to the rim and scrambles for loose balls on the floor. Nearly every shot, pass and dribble were contested as both teams battled to the very end. Lincolnview had a 1-point lead with 2:37 remaining in the game when Wallace tied it up with a free throw. With :53.8 left, it was Lincolnview’s turn at the charity stripe. Sierra Adams knocked down the front-end of her shots and gave the Lady Lancers a 34-33 lead.

The Wildcats shot on their ensuing possession was off the mark and the Lancers were in great position for the rebound and the victory. Jefferson was forced to foul with :10 left in the game and sent Oliva Gorman to the line for Lincolnview. She went 1-for-2 and extended the Lancer lead to 35-33. Delphos had one last stab at the Lancers but a shot by Kaylee Buzard failed to leave her hand before the buzzer. Her shot bounced off the backboard and onto the floor as the Lady Lancers began to celebrate on the court with a 35-33 win over rival Delphos Jefferson.

Lincolnview head coach Dan Williamson was ecstatic after the game.

“To bounce back after losing to them earlier in the season is awesome. Everybody that stepped on the floor did something and contributed in some way. They were focused for thirty-two minutes tonight and that’s what it took to get the win tonight. We are going to enjoy this win and then prepare for Ottoville.”

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LINCOLNVIEW (35)

Olivia Gorman 0-7 3-4 3, Frankie Carey 1-1 0-0 2, Maddie Gorman 4-10 4-4 14, Alena Looser 3-7 0-0 6, Kayla Schimmoeller 1-4 0-0 2, Lakin Brant 2-7 2-6 6, Sierra Adams 0-3 2-4 2, Brianna Ebel 0-1 0-0 0 Total 11-40 11-18 35

JEFFERSON (33)

Macy Wallace 5-18 3-4 14, Devyn Carder 1-6 0-0 3, Sarah Miller 0-5 0-0 0, Addy Stewart 1-5 0-0 2, Delaney Deuel 0-1 0-0 0, Alli McClurg 3-8 5-6 12, Michelle Rode 1-1 0-0 2, Kaylee Buzard 0-2 0-0 0, Total 11-48 8-10 33

Rebounds: Jefferson 18, Lincolnview 23; Turnovers: Jefferson 13, Lincolnview 17

Score by Quarter

Jefferson 11 9 10 3 - 33

Lincolnview 11 13 6 5 - 35