Jeff Brewer

HARTVILLE: Archbishop Hoban imposed its will, and won a second straight district title.

The Knights rode the hot-shooting of Rachel Chessar and a big second quarter to defeat Norton 58-42 in a Division II district championship girls basketball game Thursday at Lake High School.

“We want to keep playing,” said fifth-year Hoban coach Scott Callaghan. “We feel very blessed to have beaten a very good opponent, but we’re not done.”

The Knights have won 18 of their last 19 games.

“It’s the best feeling ever,” said Chessar, a 5-foot-8 junior guard who knocked down five 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 19 points.

Eight Hoban (21-4) players cracked the scoring column, including freshman Emma Tecca (12 points), senior Kara Marshall (11 points) and senior Dani Carlson (eight points).

“All of our hard work really paid off,” Carlson said. “We knew it was going to be a messy game, but we came out on top.”

Both teams wanted to play fast. Both teams pressed. But the night belonged to Hoban.

“It’s a credit to our senior leadership, encouraging our younger kids to be able to play in big moments,” Callaghan said.

“This was Hoban’s turn,” said Norton coach Brian Miller, who is justifiably proud of his team after an injury-riddled season a year ago.

Tied 12-12 after one quarter, the Knights took full advantage when Norton’s talented freshman point guard Bryana Housley (six points, three assists, two steals) got in early foul trouble.

“We kept No. 1 [Housley] in foul trouble,” Carlson said.

With Marshall, Carlson, and Tecca driving to the rim, and getting to the foul line, Hoban took a 30-23 lead into halftime.

After jumping out 4-0, Norton (18-8) struggled to string together positive plays. The Panthers had 13 fouls and 14 turnovers at the break.

“Inexperience was the difference. We are very young, and Scott (Callaghan) knows what he’s doing,” Miller said. “We missed a lot of free throws and a lot of layups.”

The Knights scored eight straight points to start the third quarter and led 43-26 after Marshall dropped two free tosses with 2:11 left in the third.

That’s when Norton staged a mild rally to cut its deficit to 43-33 with 7:38 left in the game. Chessar buried her fourth 3 for the Knights. The Panthers did not wilt.

Senior Natalie Miller sank a deep 3 and senior Alyssa Murawski (eight points) hit 1-of-2 free throws to whittle Hoban’s lead to 48-37. But after the Panthers missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Chessar and Tecca drilled back-to-back triples to take it out to 55-37 with 4:57 to go.

“That’s what Rachel [Chessar] has done for three years,” Callaghan said. “We don’t have a kid who works on her shot more than her. [Emma] Tecca’s 3 was the game-winner. That extended the game to the point they probably could not score enough to beat us.”

Hoban outscored Norton 19-9 from the foul line.

Junior Jimi Howell (eight rebounds) and freshman Kelsey Hosey each had nine points for Norton.