TROY — Some clutch freethrow shooting, with some key defensive stops in the game’s final minute, allowed Beavercreek coach Ed Zink to breathe a little easier after Thursday night’s come-from-behind 46-45 win in the opening round of the Division I sectional girls basketball tournament at Troy High School.
Sophomore Ashley Vaughn knocked in two free throws with 52.7 seconds left to give sixth-seeded Beavercreek the lead. Then, two defensive stops by Maci Rhoades and a swat of a desperation inbounds pass sealed the win for the Beavers.
“That was definitely closer than we wanted, but we knew it was going to be a tough game. Tecumseh can really shoot the ball, and then we have had troubles scoring. Offensively, Tecumseh is very good. They have good scorers and they handle the ball well, so we knew we would have our hands full,” Zink said, moments after the first-round win.
The two teams played back on Dec. 30, 2019 with Beavercreek claiming a 56-44 home win.
On No. 13 seeded Tecumseh’s first possession after the Beavers grabbed the lead, Maci Rhoades came up with a steal to thwart an Arrows scoring try. Beavercreek’s Tiernan McKitrick was fouled going the other way, but could not get the first free throw to fall through, and Tecumseh snared the rebound for one last scoring drive with 33.3 seconds still left in the game.
First, Rhoades fouled an Arrow with 16 seconds left. Then, Rhoades grabbed onto the ball to create a jump ball situation with 1.1 seconds left.
Possession went to Tecumseh, and so they had just over a second to inbound the ball from the right side of the basket for a final scoring try. Beavercreek center Anna Landing appeared to be the one to swat the inbounds pass back out of bounds as time expired.
“In the first half, we gambled a few times and missed, and that gave Tecumseh some wide-open threes. We’d miss, and they’d come down and score the other way. We weren’t boxing out real well, then,” Zink said. “But in crunch time, when we had to get a stop we did. Especially at the end.”
Maci Rhoades led the Beavers with 16 points, Landing was next with 10 points, Vaughn finished with eight points, Trinity Bean scored six, and McKitrick and Morgan Rhoades scored three each.
Beavercreek (14-9) now advances to the second round to take on Troy the No. 12 seed. In order for the game to be played on a neutral floor, the 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 contest will be held at Vandalia Butler’s Student Activities Center.
Arrows coach Chasity Russell was understandably disappointed in the loss, but proud of her team’s effort just the same. She has her entire team coming back next season. Tecumseh ends its season at 12-11, finishing second in the Central Buckeye Conference’s Kenton Trail division.
“We gave Beavercreek everything they could handle, and that was our plan,” Russell said. “They played hard. I was very proud of our effort tonight.”
Arrows junior Terah Harness led all scorers with 21 points, and teammate Lyndsey Back finished with 10.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.