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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Girls Varsity Basketball

Buzzer Beater Advances Royals to Regionals 

By: Todd Enders, "Royal Times"
The district championship game started out in very sluggish fashion for both the Wynford Lady Royals (19-6) and Oak Harbor Lady Wildcats (20-5). The finish was more than could be imagined as Wynford's Meghan Harrer hits a 30-foot jump shot at the buzzer, touching nothing but net, to defeat Oak Harbor 40-37. 
It appeared that Oak Harbor was going to take the final shot of the game with :9 remaining and possibly having the final possession, but a baseline drive turned into a desperation pass which ended up as a jump ball. Luckily, the possession arrow was in favor of the Royals. Coach Taylor-Sheldon called a timeout setting up a play 94 ft. from the Royal's basket.  Brenna Quinn's in bounds pass to the Wynford's foul line with 2.4 seconds remaining was deflected by a Lady Wildcat into the hands of Alyssa Harrer which was quickly passed to her sister, Meghan, where a dream finally came true. "I always mess around in practice and shoot half court shots", Harrer said. "I think that's its never gonna happen in a game, but it finally did and it went in." 
The first half of very sloppy basketball for both teams saw the Royals only manage to score two points where they got great looks at the basket but could not get shots to fall. Oak Harbor held a five point advantage at the end of quarter one, 7-2. Each coach created great game plans coming into the contest which found Wynford having difficulty with a tough 1-3-1 half court trap, and Oak Harbor having difficulty with a box and one on its top scorer, Andrea Cecil. 
Wynford put together a run starting at the 3:31 mark in the second quarter as they trailed Oak Harbor, 12-4. Wynford used there inside post presence, feeding Brenna Quinn in paint, scoring seven points to bring the sloppy first half of basketball to a close with Oak Harbor leading 13-11. There were a total of 22 turnovers in the first half alone.
The Royals obviously made some changes during halftime. Coach Taylor Sheldon said, "Our biggest change in the second half was forcing Cecil and Oak Harbor to take shots we wanted them to take and not allowing Cecil to penetrate and score. She obviously got her points but she earned them from the line."  Also, "Beth DeLong and Sarah Stenson did exactly what was asked of them coming into the game, guarding Cecil." The Royals controlled the tempo of the third quarter, and it started with a big three by Harrer giving Wynford their first lead of game 14-13. Wynford continued to look inside to Quinn and outside to Harrer for scoring opportunities. This created good looks for the Royals where Harrer hit shots from the outside and Quinn controlled the offensive glass.  Wynford outscored the Wildcats 14-9 in the third quarter with Harrer and Quinn scoring all 14 points and the Royals leading 25-22. 
The fourth quarter found each team sharing the lead. As fouls continued to add up, each team now in the bonus and heading to the foul line, it looked as if the game could be won there. Wynford was great from the line in their district semifinal game, but were only 4 of 11 down the stretch while Oak Harbor used the line to their advantage connecting on 8 of 10 keeping them close during the fourth quarter. The Royals held an early six point advantage in the fourth at 32-26, but the Wildcats would just not give in. The lead was then later cut to three on a 3-pointer by Cecil, 32-31, when she would later foul out with 1:55 remaining in regulation. After both teams traded points at the foul line, Oak Harbor took a 37-35 lead with :22 remaining. The Royals Ellie Richmond misses a layup and Quinn followed with the put back tying the game at 37-37 with :9 left and the rest was left up to Harrer's final buzzer beater.
The Royals were led in scoring by Quinn's 22 points and Harrer's 12. The Lady Wildcats were led in scoring by Cecil's 17. The win advances the Royals to regional semi-final action at Lexington High School on Wednesday March 5th, 7:00 p.m., where they take on Columbus Africentric.

Announcement: Wynford Athletic Department

Girl's regional semi-final basketball tickets for Wednesday March 5th, 7:00 p.m. contest go on sale starting Monday March 3 during school hours. Tickets will be sold until Wednesday March 5th at 12:00 p.m. All presale tickets for the game will be $6.00, and all tickets at the door will be $8.00. Thank you for your support and Go Royals!

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