OT thriller

Shadyside and Zanesville Rosecrans have hooked up in some dandies over the last several seasons in girls’ basketball.

Thursday night’s encounter before a large turnout was no different.

By virtue of scoring 14 of the game’s final 16 points, the invading Lady Bishops headed back to Muskingum County with a cherished 52-49 overtime victory.

“These are the types of games you have to win with veteran players who have to dig down in their guts to find a way,” said Rosecrans head coach Gale Kirkbride. “We struggled throughout the night both shooting and at the line, but we had kids make plays when we needed them.”

The Lady Tigers appeared to be on their way to their third straight victory to open the season , holding a 47-38 lead after senior standout Karli Bonar penetrated for a bucket with just under three minutes to play.

The proverbial wheels proceeded to fall off from there for the Lady Tigers.

“This loss is my fault,” said Shadyside head coach Tina Yates. “We can look at everything we did wrong as a team or as an individual, but it comes down to it being my fault. Should have I taken an additional time out to settle them down? I could second guess everything I did.”

The Lady Bishops seized momentum by turning it up on the defensive end and forcing Shadyside into difficult shot after difficult shot. Plus, the Lady Tigers had seven turnovers in the final chapter, including three straight possessions where they didn’t even get a shot.

“We should have ended it in regulation,” Yates said. “But, we got in a hurry, didn’t slow things down and play time and score well at all. All of those things are my fault. I did a terrible coaching job tonight.”

Rosecrans received a lift from Jess Smith in the fourth. She hit for seven of her nine points in the fourth, including the game-tying bucket with 17 seconds to go.

Molly Nash – an all-Ohioan from a season ago – rejected Bonar’s shot just before the buzzer to send the game into the extra session.

“I thought Molly Nash really came up big, not as much on the stat sheet, but just as a leader,” Kirkbride said. “The girls really communicated well especially on defense because Bonar and (Hayley) Holenka – they’re just nightmares for us.”

Shadyside struck first in the overtime on another bucket by Bonar. Rosecrans, which shot an abysmal four-of-16 from the foul line, got one of two from Nash to make it a 1-point game. Maddie Chandler, who did an outstanding job on the defensive end all evening, put Rosecrans on top for the first time since the early stages of the third quarter when it was 30-27 with a short jumper.

The Lady Tigers, who never regained their poise after Rosecrans’ fourth-quarter spurt, chucked up an ill-advised triple and Rosecrans rebounded, forcing Shadyside to foul. Alexis Kirkbride then meshed both at the line with 24.7 seconds remaining.

Shadyside got the final shot, but the heave clanged off the front of the iron.

“We had some drives (in the second half) that we probably shouldn’t have taken,” Yates said. “We pressed a little too much offensively and we got in a hurry. I told the girls the good thing is that this isn’t game 22 or 23. We still have tomorrow and this is a big learning lesson for us. We’ll be better prepared for end-of-game situations next time we face one.”

Hayley Holenka led all scorers in the game with 20 points. She also had 10 rebounds to complete the double-double. Bonar scored 10 and hit only two triples. Sophomore Kenzie Fielding netted eight points.

Rosecrans, which had only eight turnovers in the game, was balanced across the scoring column. Kirkbride finished with 14. Nash and Chandler each had 10.

Shadyside held a slim, 32-31, edge on the board. The Lady Tigers were charted for 13 turnovers.

The Lady Bishops made it a sweep by capturing the reserve encounter.

ROSECRANS (52) – Swackhammer 1, 0-0 3; Johnson 2, 0-2 4; Kirkbride 4, 3-4 14; McLaughlin 1, 0-0 2; Nash 4, 1-5 10; Chandler 5, 0-4 10; Smith 4, 0-1 9; Totals: 21, 4-16 52. SHADYSIDE (49) – Holenka 6, 5-7 20; Fielding 4, 0-0 8; Andes 3, 0-0 7; Fijalowski 1, 0-0 2; Bonar 4, 0-0 10; Jackson 1, 0-2 2; Totals: 19, 5-9 49.

Three-Point Goals: R – Swackhammer, Kirkbride (3), Nash, Smith. S – Holenka (3), Bonar (2), Andes.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com