COLUMBUS — There were multiple moments Thursday night when a St. Vincent-St. Mary girls basketball player would glance up at the scoreboard to check the clock.
Time was ticking away on their season at the Schottenstein Center’s Value City Arena, and Dayton Carroll kept charging in a Division II state semifinal game.
When time ran out and the Patriots won 57-38, Irish players and coaches exchanged hugs.
“They did a good job of kind of packing it in and making it hard for our big girls to touch the ball,” Irish coach Carley Whitney said.
“This season was one heck of a ride. I have eight seniors and they paved the way for generations to come. This is one fantastic group of kids that I am blessed to coach.”
Maria Dobson, a 5-foot-8 senior, paced St. V-M (18-10) with 10 points, two steals and one block. Irish 5-11 freshman Annie Watson scored seven points, 6-3 senior Aubrie Marsh scored six points and 6-0 senior Sophia Williams scored four points.
“It is always fun when you are with this group of people and you are playing the game you love with all of them,” Dobson said as she reflected on the season, which included a seven-game win streak.
Sarah Ochs, a 5-5 freshman, made 4-of-4 field goals and 4-of-4 free throws en route to 14 points to lead Carroll (27-2). The Patriots also got 12 points and five rebounds apiece from 6-0 junior Julia Keller and 5-6 junior Allie Stefanek.
“Our team wanted this really bad and I am really happy that we got this,” Ochs said.
Carroll made 7-of-15 shots from beyond the 3-point arc and grabbed 32 rebounds. St. V-M made 2-of-10 3-point attempts and had 24 rebounds.
“We knew this game was going to be a defensive battle for us because they are such a big team,” Carroll coach Cecilia Grosselin said. “… At halftime, we said you have to keep boxing out and you have to keep rebounding. Rebounding was definitely the key to this game.”
Carroll led 12-10 at the end of the first quarter and 26-20 at halftime.
The Patriots extended their lead to 32-20 with 6:22 to go in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Keller and three free throws by sophomore Ava Lickliter (six points). The Irish cut their deficit to 34-28 with an 8-2 spurt that featured two points apiece from Dobson, Marsh, Watson and junior Ari Johnson.
The Patriots then responded with an 11-0 run to lead 45-28 with 1:33 remaining in the third quarter. Ochs, senior Elisabeth Bush and Stefanek started the surge with 3-pointers, and Ochs added a layup.
“Most of their points come from offensive put-backs,” Keller said. “This entire week we stressed boxing them out, getting the rebound and outletting the ball.”
Bush scored eight points and sophomore Megan Leraas scored four points.
St. V-M received three points from senior Mackenzie Moss, and two points each from freshman Lanae Riley and sophomores Dream Cherry and Tezjah Brooks.
“It was a fantastic season with a fantastic group of kids,” Whitney said. “… I told the younger ones ‘remember the feeling,’ and I told the older ones ‘remember the memories.’ ”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com.