CUYAHOGA FALLS: Orrville senior Hannah Plybon has broken a lot of scoring records. This time, she did it on the big stage.
Plybon scored at will in Saturday’s Division III regional final against Beachwood, finishing with 42 points, a school record, and 13 rebounds. She almost matched Beachwood’s team total in the Red Riders’ 75-48 win. Already the school and county career scoring leader, Plybon just added her name to another line in Orrville’s record books.
She just keeps scoring.
“We said coming in that if she could have a game, we could beat them,” Orrville coach Mark Alberts said. “And she had the game of her life. And in this setting? This is the type of game you want … where you want her to do that.”
One of Orrville’s assistants informed Alberts that Plybon had reached the 40-point plateau with about a minute and a half left. He turned to his bench and asked, “She’s got 40?” and allowed Plybon to stay in the game. She was fouled two possessions later and knocked down both free throws.
Plybon says she didn’t realize she was that close to the record either, until Alberts pulled the other four starters out but kept her on the floor. With Beachwood fouling, Orrville made sure to get her the ball. To her, it was just another game, and the record doesn’t mean much. Getting Alberts to Columbus for the state final four, where Orrville is headed next week, does.
“In 38 years, he’s done so much for the school and the program and the team,” she said. “Getting him down there is, I think, the greatest thing. It’s what really puts a slam on it.”
Alberts mentioned the special moments in a person’s life — the day you’re married, the birth of your kids, your grandkids. This doesn’t rank with those moments. But it’s close.
“Other than that, this is the most special moment that I’ve had, in basketball, the chance to experience,” he said. “There aren’t too many chances that compare to this, getting to go down there and play for a state championship.”
The Red Riders scored the first nine points of the game and led 35-18 at one point in the second quarter before Beachwood junior Mikah Aldridge (20 points) scored six points in a minute to keep the game close.
Orrville came out flat in the second half and the Bison closed the gap to 39-33. But the Red Riders were able to go back to what they were doing in the first half — letting Plybon operate in space and crashing the offensive boards — and slowly pushed the lead back out to double digits.
Orrville had 13 points on second-chance points, and offensive rebounds led to longer possessions in the fourth quarter as the clock was being wound down. That was a point of emphasis for Alberts after Wednesday’s regional semifinal, when a Beachwood fan got what he wished for.
“One of their fans on Wednesday, when we walked into the gym for warm-ups, said ‘We hope we play those little girls,’ pointing at our girls,” Alberts said. “We don’t have great size, but we have tenacity and we go after the ball with a vengeance when it’s loose. On the glass, on the floor. That’s what we do.”
Orrville senior Maggie Davault had 12 points, four rebounds and two steals. Junior Shamaya Sims added four points and eight rebounds. Freshman Trinniti Hall had six points and five rebounds.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.