- By Marc Pendleton Staff Writer
The Greater Western Ohio Conference was represented by its three best teams in the girls high school basketball Division I district finals at Princeton on Saturday. And all three left wondering what might have been.
Lakota West eliminated Fairmont 53-29 and Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame also blew out Wayne 48-28. Beavercreek was in great position against Mason, but collapsed in the fourth quarter and also lost, 43-34.
All the winners, including Cincinnati Walnut Hills, advance to Wednesday’s D-I regional semifinals at Fairmont’s Trent Arena.
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Beavercreek connected on two late 3-pointers by Carmen Williams and Cori Dilsavor to take a 31-25 lead into the fourth quarter against Mason. But within one minute Mason drew even. That ignited a game-changing 18-0 run by the Comets.
The Beavers (21-5) didn’t score again until Dilsavor hit another 3-pointer with 28 seconds left in the game. The Beavers were undone by turnovers, missed shots and free throws and everything else that could go wrong.
“They’re a great team,” said Dilsavor, among the many seniors for the Beavers. “We tried to stick it together at the end. It was pretty heart-breaking, especially for all the seniors. It was hard to see that. It was a shock.”
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It also was similar to last season when Beavercreek led Lakota West by eight going into the fourth quarter, yet lost.
“We just panicked,” conceded Beavercreek coach Ed Zink, who completed his 43rd season with the Beavers, is the state’s all-time winningest coach with 800-plus wins and coached his 1,000th game early in the season.
Bailey Draughn led Beavercreek (21-5) with nine points and Williams had eight.
Mason (20-3) will play defending D-I state champ Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame (23-4) in a D-I regional semifinal at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Fairmont’s Trent Arena. Sade Tucker and Samantha Puisis each had 12 points for Mason, which converted 18 of 19 free throws.
Mount Notre Dame 48, Wayne 28: The Warriors’ bid to keep pace with Wayne’s highly successful boys team was derailed. MND, the defending D-I state champion, also defeated visiting Wayne 55-45 in the regular season.
Gabbie Marshall led MND with 15 points and MND methodically took Wayne apart. Wayne’s Destiny Bohanon and Maya Dunson each had 10 points.
Wayne upset Springboro 41-30 in a sectional final. The Warriors (14-9) were guided by former Wayne boys coach Travis Trice, who was in his first season with the Wayne girls.
“It’s one of those days we just didn’t have it,” Trice said. “(MND) didn’t do anything we hadn’t seen or prepared for. We have a lot of girls who didn’t have varsity experience and it showed up. This is the foundation of what we’re doing going forward. We’ll be at a better point to start next (season).”
Lakota West 53, Fairmont 29: The Firebirds initially hung with West but couldn’t maintain that high level of play. Fairmont had won six straight games and posted an impressive 40-35 defeat of Tecumseh in a sectional final.
Ally Haar led West with 14 points and Jasmine Ballew added 10. Mali Morgan-Elliott led Fairmont (14-9) with 10 points and eight rebounds.
West advances to the D-I regional semifinals against Walnut Hills (23-1) at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday. An established D-I Southwest District power, it was the fifth consecutive district championship for West, which also won a D-I state title in 2015.
“Everybody knows what they’re good at,” Fairmont coach Lacy Drake said. “Their defense is phenomenal. If you don’t handle pressure that’s puts you in a tough spot to win and we didn’t always handle it like we needed to.”
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Covington 54, Legacy Christian 42: Samantha Whiteman scored 23 points for the Buccs in a D-IV girls district final at Troy. Covington (20-6) will play Fort Loramie (21-5) at Butler at 8 p.m. Thursday in a regional semi. Emma Hess led Legacy (22-4) with 22 points.
Versailles (22-1) vs. Cin. Purcell Marian (17-5), ppd.: This D-III district final was postponed from Saturday until 7 p.m. Monday at Springfield High School due to the death last Friday of a Purcell Marian student.
Fairmont boys 73, Miamisburg 48: The Firebirds raced to a 15-point first-period lead and upset the No. 4-seeded Vikings in a D-I sectional final at Centerville. Fairmont (16-9) will take a five-game win streak into a D-I district final at 3 p.m. Saturday at UD Arena against Moeller (22-3).