By Ryan Hines
The first-game jitters were certainly on display, but Celina and Lima Shawnee will make it an all-Western Buckeye League matchup in the finals of the OVISCO Classic held at the Fieldhouse tonight after each posted two-point wins on Friday.
Celina overcame 25 turnovers to slip past Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, 50-48, while Shawnee erased a five-point deficit in the fourth quarter for a 48-46 victory.
CHCA will now meet Versailles in the consolation game tonight at 6 p.m. while Celina and Shawnee will meet in the nightcap to start at approximately 7:45 p.m.
Celina 50, CHCA 48 With the CHCA football team still in the postseason, the opening game of the OVISCO was played at 2 p.m. to allow fans to attend both girls basketball and football.
CHCA went up early by forcing turnovers with a fullcourt press, but Celina responded in the second half with a size advantage in the post and clutch free-throw shooting to pull out the victory.
Just four Celina players dented the scoring column, but three of those were in double figures.
Liz Homan had 15 points and 11 rebounds, Hone had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Link contributed 14 points to lead the Celina attack.
"We had trouble getting the ball across halfcourt at times, but once we did and we realized what we had in the post, we were able to have some success," said Celina head coach Brian Stetler. "We have a long way to go, but it's nice to start the season with a victory."
"When they got the ball in a halfcourt set, they threw the ball inside and we had trouble dealing with their size in the post," said CHCA head coach Tim Sutherland. "They do a good job of sealing the defenders and then they made the layup or went to the line and knocked down two free throws. They got us in foul trouble too and that hurt us."
The only other Bulldogs player to score was Amy Harner, who scored just six points, but four of those came on clutch free throws with time winding down in the fourth quarter. Harner was just 2-of-6 from the free-throw line before knocking down four straight in the final 26 seconds of play.
"The free throws that Amy hit were big and free throws win games for you," said Stetler. "If (Continued from page 6)
you want to win close games like we did today, you have to hit free throws because it's going to play a major role. We struggled at the line at times last year and I think that this team can be a good free-throw shooting team."
Brittnee Bankstrom paced CHCA with 14 points.
Shawnee 48, Versailles 46
The Indians are in the OVISCO finals thanks to the one-two combo of Molly Thompson and Amber Heistan. Thompson handled the inside with 22 points and 10 rebounds while Heistan controlled the perimeter with 20 points, including four treys.
Despite the play of Thompson and Heistan, Versailles still held a five-point advantage (44-39) at the 4:40 mark of the fourth quarter when Shawnee called a timeout.
Following the timeout, Shawnee scored the next nine points of the game to take a 48-44 lead. Heistan hit four free tosses and Thompson added three from the line to go along with a field goal off of a missed free throw. Shawnee's Brooke Schultz could have put the game away at the line in the middle of the Shawnee run, but missed three straight one-and-one opportunities.
Justine Raterman was the lone player in double figures for Versailles with 12 points while Emily Bohman added nine points.
The Tigers suffered from a tough shooting night, hitting only 20-of-50 from the field while attempting just four free throws (made three).
Shawnee, on the other hand, shot 59 percent from the floor (17-of-29) and 10-of-15 from the charity stripe.