Classic in the Country

Day 1 at Classic in the Country Challenge is a true keeper with six close games

All a Classic in the Country crowd can ask for is to see some outstanding basketball with plenty of tight contests. On day one January 14, they got just that, as six of the seven games were very evenly contested, two of them even going into overtime, including one that will be an instant classic.

Game 1

Tri-Village 75

Orrville 37

emma-printz-2Player of the Game – Emma Printz – Tri-Village

Orrville jumped on top early 5-0 on a Mariah Goodard 3-pointer, then the undefeated Patriots seized control and never looked back. The game was highlighted by a couple of huge Tri-Valley runs, the first one a 20-3 run that gave them a 20-8 lead. After a three from Orrville’s Shadra Hamsher got the Red Riders within 35-25 early in the second half, Orrville went to a triangle and two to try to defend, and it backfired. Tri-Valley went on an impressive 26-2 run that put this one well in the win column for the Patriots.

It was a balanced attack in the blowout for the undefeated Patriots, with several players putting up gaudy numbers. Emma Printz scored a game-high 20 points, with three rebounds, three assists and three steals, Allie Downing had16 points with 14 boards, Danika Mann matched her 13 points with 13 rebounds and freshman Trisa Porter scored 11 points, while dishing out an eye-popping 12 dimes. Porter used a penetrate-and-pass method to create a ton of assists.


Game 2

West Holmes 44

Chippewa 40


sammie-hallPlayer of the Game – Sammie Hall – West Holmes

This was classic West Holmes Lady Knights basketball at its best. What many people would dub as “ugly” was a masterpiece to Lady Knights coach Lisa Ogi. West Holmes used a defense it rarely implements, a switching defense, to stymie Chippewa All-Ohioan Taylor Richards and the high-flying Chipps.

Sammie Hall gave West Holmes an early lift, and Kaylor Perone spurred an 8-0 run to start the second half, and West Holmes took a 24-18 lead after trialing by two at the break.

Lady Knights point guard Kylie Leppla expertly handled Chippewa’s trapping defense, having just one turnover in the game, and West Holmes eventually built a 37-26 lead on Taylor Yerian’s hustle play and assist to Perone and Leppla’s two free throws.

Chippewa freshman Celina Koncz did a nice job of getting her team back in contention, and a hoard of missed free throws helped the Chipps crawl back to within 41-36 on Samantha Storad’s three-ball.

West Holmes made just enough free throws to fend of the hard-charging Chipps. Hall scored 19 points, gobbled up seven boards and added a pair of blocks, while Perone scored 10. Koncz led the Chipps with 10 points, and the Lady Knights’ switching defense limited Richards to just two points.


Game 3

Glen Este 57 (overtime)

Wadsworth 52


img_3650Player of the Game – Jasmine Hale – Glen Este

In a great game, Glen Este went on a 13-0 run to begin the fourth quarter to take a 45-36 lead after Wadsworth’s Peyton Banks got the Grizzlies a lead by canning four threes. Glen Este got a three from Dakota Reeves and a couple of scores from Jasmine Hale to take the lead, but Wadsworth rallied to take the lead late in the game when Taylor Leatherman hit a three, two free throws from Lexi Lance and a beautiful dish from E-Anna Won to McKenna Banks to take a 47-45 lead with 10 seconds to play. But with three seconds left, Hale drove down the lane and hit a runner to send the game into OT.

Once there, Glen Este’s Kirsten Click hit a 3-pointer and Anna Smith an Reeves each made two free throws to give the Trojans a 54-48 edge. Again the Grizzlies rallied, and Banks’ short jumper drew them to within 54-52. Trailing by three with 12 seconds to play, Wadsworth had a chance to tie it, but threw the ball away with three seconds left and Rachel Nelson calmly sank both free throws to ice it for the Trojans.

Hale had 22 points, four assists and the huge score to send it to overtime, while Banks led Wadsworth with 26 points.


Game 4

Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame

Pickerington Central


img_3894Player of the Game – Madison Greene – Pickerington Central

In one of the best games of the day, these two juggernauts went to work against each other, and played a tight game from wire to wire.

Pickerington Central led by a 15-10 count after one before Notre Dame trimmed that deficit to one at 26-25 at the half. The two teams played to a standstill at 10-10 in the third quarter, setting the stage for an exciting finish.

Trailing by three points, MND’s Julia Hoefling rained down a long 3-pointer to tie it, only to see Central’s Madison Greene answer with one of her own. Trailing 43-39, Notre Dame’s Gabbie Marshall, who had a huge first half, finally scored in the second half on a trey to make it 43-42 with 2:45 to play. Pickerington Central then ran a ton of time off the clock and Notre Dame had a lot of fouls to give to get into the bonus, and when Central finally got there they missed free throws on three straight trips, allowing Notre Dame three different opportunities to take the lead. Scott Rogers’ crew never did, missing twice and turning it over.

With time winding down, Greene split a pair of free throws, and Notre Dame had one last chance, but Hoefling’s shot in the lane danced around the rim and fell off, and Central had its win.

Greene had 15 points, four boards and four assists to lead Central, while Marshall scored 15 and Hoefling scored 14 for Notre Dame.


Game 5

North Canton Hoover 56

Reynoldsburg 44


maddie-blyerPlayer of the Game – Maddie Blyer – North Canton Hoover

Fir much of this game between two great programs, it was a closely contested battle. Then Maddie Blyer took over the game in the third quarter and began distributing passes like she was the MVP for FedEx.

Blyer not only scored a game-high 17 points, she also dished out six assists, and when it mattered the most she was at her best.

With Reynoldsburg leading 20-19, Blyer hit a runner, then found Makenna Drabick for a score, before topping of her own personal run with a jumper. NCH held a 25-20 lead at the half, and Blyer wasn’t done, scoring out of the gate then finding Drabick again. Leslie Kiesling made a steal and scored, and Drabick scored an and-one and at 35-20, it was all but over.

Reynoldsburg got back-to-back threes from Brooklyn Pannell and Mckenzie Davis, and at one point got to within seven at 41-34 on the shoulders of Jalynda Salley, but Hoover’s consistency, ball-handling and fundamentals never allowed Reynoldsburg back in the game.

Blyer and Drabick had matching 17-point nights, while Annie Roshak and Kiesling added nine and eight points, respectively. Roshak added a game-high 10 boards. Adrian Crockwell led Reynoldsburg with 12 points, Salley added eight points and six boards and Hannah Gaskins and Pannell both scored seven.


Game 6

Homestead (IN) 53

Mason 46


img_4607Player of the Game – Karissa McLaughlin – Fort Wayne Homestead

This game featuring two neighboring state’s very best started out like it was going to be a classic, as the two teams went at it tooth and nail.

Fort Wayne’s Karissa McLaughlin showed everyone why she is worthy of going to Florida State by establishing an uncanny ability to move the ball and score. However, Mason’s Sydney Graber was matching her effort, and the score was tied at 20-20 late in the half, before Mason pulled ahead 23-21 at the break.

Mason quickly established a larger lead early in the second half, pulling ahead 31-21 on a bomb by Samari Mowbray. But Homestead’s Meg Hubbard connected on one of her own, and that jettisoned the Spartans back to within 36-33 at the end of three.

Then the Comets went ice cold, and Mason didn’t score for the first 6:40 of the fourth quarter while Homestead built a 45-36 lead. Mason would not recover and Fort Wayne would win the Buckeye v. Hoosier battle of CitC.

McLaughlin poured in 21 points to pace everyone, while Madisen Parker tied her for game honors with 21 points for Homestead. Samantha Puisis led Mason with 20 points, and Tihanna Fulton added 12.


Game 7

Hiland 67 (overtime)

Africentric 61


img_5071Player of the Game – Morgan McMillen – Hiland

Mark this one in the books as an instant classic. In an SRO Reese Center, the Hiland Lady Hawks and Africentric Nubians went into a high-speed chase that would have made the gang from Fast & Furious flinch.

The two teams created an electric atmosphere, and the highly hyped game was everything anyone could have ever dreamed.

Close throughout, the Nubians took their lone lead of the game at 32-30, but Morgan McMillen quickly erased that and gave Hiland some breathing room, only to have Africentric come storming back with under two minutes to play to send it to overtime.

Once there, McMillen and Angela Troyer helped provide enough points for Hiland to squeak by, setting off a joyous celebration on the Hiland side of the floor.

McMillen ended the night with 26 points and eight rebounds, and went 11-of-12from the charity stripe. Angela Troyer scored 17 points and hauled down nine rebounds, Tiffany Weaver scored13 and snared six boards and the Lady Hawks made a CitC record 33 free throws on the night.

The Nubians were paced by Jordan Horston’s 14 points and eight rebounds, while Kynnydy Azubike scored 13 points and added six rebounds.

This was one of those games that future CitC crowds will be talking about for a long time to come, and it wrapped up a day of great hoops action as the community and its multitude of visitors celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend.

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