Orrville 61, Hanoverton United 52
Everybody knows about Orrville senior Hannah Plybon, the girl breaking nearly every scoring record she’s eligible to break. But this time it was the other Red Rider seniors who stepped up during a 61-52 Division III regional semifinal win over Hanoverton United at Cuyahoga Falls High School on Wednesday night.
Senior Maggie Davault found space driving to the basket and had a team-high 22 points, including a key runner in the lane that ended up being the game-winning points with 3:15 remaining. Senior Brianne Adcock had only four points but with Orrville ahead by a point and 90 seconds left on the clock, she came up with a steal, an assist and a basket, all in a 45-second span to put the game out of reach and the Red Riders (25-2) in the 1:30 p.m. Saturday regional final against Beachwood.
“I thought our seniors really stepped up,” Orrville coach Mark Alberts said. “They did all the right things down the stretch and really weren’t going to be denied. They want to keep going, they want to play another one.”
Plybon was her usual self, scoring 18 points, but had some added energy for the spotlight. After a couple of baskets in the first quarter, Plybon threw a few fist-pumps running down the floor and as Adcock dished to Davault for an easy layup and a 59-51 lead with only seconds remaining, she celebrated along with Orrville’s sideline.
“Being at this level, and losing two years ago, she’s usually calmer than that,” Alberts said. “But I think the stage is a bit bigger and the adrenaline was flowing, and she really wanted it.”
Beachwood 53, Mogadore 48
As the story has gone this season, Mogadore saved its best for last and found some promise in a bad situation in its Division III regional semifinal against Beachwood. But two last-minute 3-pointers weren’t enough and the Wildcats came up short.
Behind 47-40 with about a minute to play, Mogadore (13-14) appeared to be finished. Junior Ashley Barker promptly hit a 3-pointer and was fouled attempting another on the next possession. She made two of three free throws to cut the deficit to 49-45. Beachwood (23-2) made a free throw before Mogadore junior Naomi Pollock swished a 3-pointer from NBA range with 12 seconds left to make it 50-48.
On the ensuing inbound pass, Mogadore was called for an intentional foul, giving Beachwood two free throws and possession of the ball. That effectively ended the game.
“I thought it was a great game,” Mogadore coach Tom Pollock said. “It was a well-played game. They had a couple players step up and take over in the end.”
The Wildcats started the season 0-9, dealing with multiple injuries and a suspension related to an intentional foul. Losing nine in a row and being a few shots away from a regional final is no easy feat. Pollock just enjoyed the ride.
“We had a rough start — I’m not bellyaching, everybody has that, we just had a rough start,” he said. “But everybody got healthy and it was fun. We started to jell at the right time.”
Already out of the conference race not even midway through the year, Pollock and his coaching staff turned the attention to his playoff run, putting a new light on a tough season.
“We talked about it throughout the year,” he said. “We knew we weren’t going to win the league so we tried to pump it up to play in the tournament. The bad part about that is you lose one game and you’re out. Fortunately, it worked out this year and we were able to build on that and they bought into it and we won some tournament games.”
Barker led Mogadore with 18 points and four rebounds. Pollock added 11 points and five rebounds.
Senior Makenzie Williams had 11 points and eight rebounds and sophomore Grace Reilly finished with four points and seven 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.