LEBANON – For the second time this season, Clinton-Massie came up short to Bellbrook.
The unbeaten Eagles led for the majority of the game en route to a 54-44 win in the Div. II Lebanon 1 sectional championship game at Lebanon High School.
Bekah Vine powered the Eagles with a career-high 26 points. Her low post counterpart Gabby Ozoude had 15 points.
“Bekah’s our energizer out front,” said BHS head coach Jason Tincher, a graduate of Wilmington College. “We’re asking her to stop (Miquela Santoro) at the point. She stepped up to the challenge. I don’t know what we fed her before the game but we’ve got to keep doing that.”
Miquela Santoro, headed to Winthrop University next season, led the Lady Falcons with 19 points. Madison Purkey had nine points.
Massie ends its season at 20-5 while Bellbrook moves on to the district championship game with a 25-0 record.
“For what they accomplished, I’m proud of my girls,” said CM coach Carlos Roberts. “8th in the state and nobody thought they were going to do that. I had great leaders (seniors Santoro, Purkey, Emilie Fisher).
“A lot of people are going to be happy to see Santoro go. Not me. But there is a lot to build on.”
The Bellbrook defense put the clamps on Massie in the first three quarters, holding the Falcons to just 5 for 32 shooting. Santoro had one field goal but was 6-for-6 at the line in the first half.
Vine was the engine that pushed the Bellbrook offense. She had a trio of three-pointers in the first quarter and finished with 17 points in the first half.
“The first time we played, we started out man and the big girl hurt us inside,” said Roberts. ‘This time, we start out in zone and that girls starts knocking down threes. We neutralized the girl in the middle and kinda forget about some things. (Vine) hit some big threes early and we just didn’t recover from those shots.”
Ozoude, the 6-2 powerplant down low for BHS, had just four points but seven rebounds and three blocked shots in the first half.
In the second quarter, Madilyn Newton and Fisher came off Roberts’ bench and provided a spark. Newton, who will not win a jump ball against Ozoude, still took one right at the Bellbrook post player shortly after entering the game.
Johanna Theetge, who had six rebounds in the first half, left the game before halftime and returned on crutches.
“I thought Theetge was playing well until she went down and hurt her ankle,” Roberts said.
In the third, Ozoude took over seven points, including a last-second stickback basket to make it 38-24 after three.
The Eagles lead grew to as many as 18 in the fourth and the Falcons cut it to 10 at one time. Newton had a strong fourth with eight points and three assists in the period.
Feb 18, 2016
@Lebanon High School
Bellbrook 54 Clinton-Massie 44
(44) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Santoro 5-2-7-19 Theetge 0-0-1-1 Rose 0-0-0-0 Purkey 3-2-1-9 Myers 2-0-0-4 Newton 2-2-3-9 Leary 0-0-0-0 Fisher 0-0-2-2. TOTALS 12-6-14-44
(54) BELLBROOK (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Bereda 0-0-1-1 Hofacker 4-2-2-12 Vine 7-3-9-26 Ozoude 7-0-1-15 Dorn 0-0-0-0 Kramer 0-0-0-0 Parker 0-0-0-0 Redfern 0-0-0-0 Greathouse 0-0-0-0 Fryman 0-0-0-0 Boyer 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 18-5-13-54
FIELD GOALS: CM 12-41 (Santoro 5-14 Purkey 3-11 Newton 2-5 Myers 2-5 Theetge 0-4 Rose 0-4); B 18-41 (Vine 7-9 Ozoude 7-15 Hofacker 4-7)
3 PT FIELD GOALS: CM 6-12 (Newton 2-3 Santoro 2-6 Purkey 2-2); B 5-13 (Vine 3-5 Hofacker 2-4)
FREE THROWS: CM 14-18 (Santoro 7-8 Newton 3-4 Fisher 2-2 Theetge 1-2 Purkey 1-4); B 13-21 (Vine 9-13)
REBOUNDS: CM-29 (Santoro 8 Theetge 6 Myers 4 PUrkey 3 Newton 2 Rose 1 Fisher 1 Leary 1); B-31 (Ozoude 13 Hofacker 7)
ASSISTS: CM-8 (Santoro 4 Newton 3 Theetge 1); B-12 (Dorn 5 Hofacker 4 Vine 2)
STEALS: CM-4 (Newton 1 Santoro 1 Rose 1 Purkey 1); B-6 (Vine 3 Hofacker 3)
BLOCKED SHOTS: CM-2 (Theetge 1 Purkey 1); B-5 (Ozoude 4)
TURNOVERS: CM-13; B-12
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.