CAMBRIDGE - Take away the third quarter and this one was a draw as both Sandy Valley and Bellaire scored 42 points, unfortunately for the Lady Big Reds the 8 minutes following halftime would end their season as the Cardinals prevailed, 58-45, in the Division III Girls Basketball Sectional Tournament at Cambridge High School.
The Lady Big Reds got off to a good start as they held Sandy Valley scoreless for the first 4 minutes of action in Gene Ford gymnasium.
''In the first half, we played amazing defense up until with about four minutes to go they scored 13 points in 3 minutes that is because we had been playing at our pace ," said Bellaire head coach Marci Quirk. "And then at the end of the second quarter we started letting them control the pace. That is when they came back and got back into the game."
Bellaire’s Cari Crozier drives to the basket during Saturday afternoon’s game. For additional images visit cu.timesleaderonline.com
Bellaire would lead by as much as nine points in the second quarter, but by halftime the Cardinals trailed by a single point, 27-26.
''I cant fault our effort, we were trying hard, sometimes I feel we were trying too hard, trying to force it. That is why we had so many turnovers." Quirk said of the pivotal frame. "It was ridiculous, I quit counting at 15."
The Lady Big Reds would turn it over seven times just before the half and then commit over one dozen miscues in the third frame.
"The key was getting the ball outlet and running the fast break," Sandy Valley veteran head coach Terry Leek summed up his team's strategy for the comeback.
"Unfortunately for Bellaire, they were not getting back very well on the break," Leek continued. "They were a lot of things we had to fix, but the bottom line was that if we could get the ball out and run we could take the game over,"
The Big Reds had been shooting 50 percent in the first half netting 10 of 20 action shots. Changing ends dropped their shooting percentage to 10 percent as they made just 1 of 10, going scoreless for most of the frame as the Cardinals dominated play going on a 12-0 run.
Bellaire was outscored 16-3 in the frame as Sandy Valley tied it up at 30 apiece at the 5:54 mark and then went ahead for good a minute later.
The Lady Big Reds would narrow the gap to just 6 points as they went on a run late in the fourth but once again the Cardinals pressure forced turnovers ending the season for Bellaire at 8-15.
Senior Cari Crozier paced Bellaire with a double-double scoring 16 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Classmate Aubrey Ryan closed the ledger on her high school basketball career with 8 points and 11 caroms. Nina Crook added 7 points and 5 steals for Bellaire. Overall the Big Reds were 17 of 45 action shooting and 9 of 14 from the foul line.
Sandy Valley (11-12) was lead by junior Mercedes Bowling with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 8 steals and 7 assists. The Cardinals were 22 of 58 from the floor and 12 of 27 from the charity stripe.
Bellaire led off the boards with 35 rebounds to just 27 for the Cards. The Big Reds turned it over 27 times while Sandy Valley committed just 13 miscues.
Ohio Division III Sectional Tournament
(at Cambridge H.S.)
Sandy Valley 58
SANDY VALLEY (58) J. Dix 0, 0-0 0; Kutcher 2, 0-0 4; Schneider 2, 0-0 4; Kotlaz 1, 3-4 5; Bowling 6, 2-9 16; Campbell 3, 1-2 8; Crone 0, 0-0 0; Sickafoose 2, 0-2 5; Huffman 4, 4-8 12; R. Dix 0, 0-0 0; Eyster 1, 2-2 4. Totals 21, 12-27. BELLAIRE (45) Garloch 3, 0-1 6; Kidder 2, 2-3 7; Lekanudos 0, 0-0 0; Crozier 6, 4-4 16; Gillespie 0, 1-4 1; Ryan 3, 2-2 8; Stoner 0, 0-0 0; Crook 3, 0-0 7, Maupin 0, 0-0 0. Totals 17, 9-14.
Three-Point Shots: Sandy Valley - Bowling (2), Campbell, Sickafoose. Bellaire Crook, Kidder.