Mechanicsburg led 14-11 in the second quarter, but Country Day stormed back to take a 22-18 lead into the locker room.
“It seemed like we could never get that run that we needed,” Dodane said. “In the second quarter, I thought we should be able to and we didn’t. All season in the third quarter we’ve dominated, but (today) we just didn’t. We missed too many layups at key times. You’ve gotta make them.”
Mechanicsburg pulled to within three points early in the third quarter at 26-23. Country Day extended its lead to 11 points with three minutes remaining as Mechanicsburg struggled from the field against a bigger Country Day squad.
“Each game we were outsized and coming into today they were bigger. The kids said: “So what else is new?” We’ve faced that all year,” Dodane said. “We missed some layups and that’s a negative, but we never quit.”
Mechanicsburg pulled to within five points with less than two minutes remaining at 51-46, but Country Day nailed its free throws down the stretch to claim the district title. Zimmerman made 8-of-10 free throws in the fourth quarter for Country Day.
“It was a great year, but right now this stings because I really felt like we could get them,” Dodane said.
Mechanicsburg won its first Ohio Heritage Conference North Division title in school history and tied a program record for most wins in a season at 23. It also advanced to the district final for the first time since 2013.
Mechanicsburg will graduate four seniors, including two-time OHC North Player of the Year Schipfer.
“We’ve got some big seniors leaving,” Dodane said. “I challenged the girls to work because this is where we’d like to get next year and every year. I’m proud of my kids. I’m proud of how they fought. I’m proud of how they played and came together.”