Nelsonville-York Lady Buckeyes Secure Overtime Win Over Vinton County Lady Vikings

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Jesse Addis ran off the court holding the basketball with a big sigh of relieve on her face and Camrin Dupler let out an emphatic scream to capture all the emotions of a scrappy 43-37 over-time victory over the Vinton County Vikings Thursday night.

This was a battle of two heavyweights in TVC Ohio and had a playoff atmosphere feel throughout the entirety of the game. Addis reiterated the passion of the Lady Buckeye Crowd in Thursday’s win.

“From the start of the game it was really intense and physical. It felt like every play mattered,” said Addis.

In a game where defense flexed its muscles for both sides, points were at a premium. The Lady Buckeyes usually don’t have issues on the offensive side of the floor, especially from beyond the arc, but tonight that was not the case.

The Lady Buckeyes were just 4 of 21 from three tonight, something they aren’t accustom to. Addis and Dupler both struggled to get anything going offensively as the Vikings zone trap defense had them flustered offensively all night.

With the Buckeyes off to a surprisingly slow start with a home crowd behind them, the Lady Vikings jumped out to an early 18-8 lead, led by Cassie Bentley who scored 11 of Vikings opening 18 points resulting in a Lady Buckeye timeout.

The Lady Buckeyes and their fans were stunned watching their team struggle to make shots, turn the ball over and look extremely flustered. Out of the timeout, they looked like a completely different team. Backs pinned against the wall, the Lady Buckeyes came out firing, led by Mary-Kate McCulloch, who hit two threes two spark a 14-1 run to take a 22-19 heading into the halftime locker room. McCulloch finished with a team-high 14 points for the Lady Buckeyes.

In the second half, the game intensity turned up another notch as things began to get chippy between both teams as the physicality and emotions heightened. Early in the 3rd quarter, Addis and Bentley got into a heated altercation which lead to the two having to be separated. The much smaller Addis was tired of being pushed around by the physically superior Bentley.

“I was just trying to stand up for myself. Our defense in the second half flustered her and her emotions on the court reflected that,” said Addis.

Addis and the Lady Buckeyes made it a priority to stop Bentley from taking over the game. While they couldn’t completely stop Bentley, they made her work hard to get those 21 points as it took her 23 shots to get them. The Buckeyes press defense forced Bentley and the rest of the Lady Vikings offense into many uncomfortable shots in the second half.

One of the only bright spots in the second half for Bentley was late in the 4th quarter, where she hit a three to tie the game and spark a 9-0 Vikings run that put them up 36-32. Addis, being the team leader would respond with a bucket of her own to tie the game at 36 with under two minutes to go. Addis had a chance to hit the game wining shot but fell short, as it was only fitting that the back and forth affair would get four more minutes of action.

Overtime was no different than the rest, as both teams combined to make just one shot in the extra frame. In a physical, defensive slugfest, fouls were not at a premium in this one as both teams were in the bonus for majority of the game. This game would be decided at the charity stripe.

The Lady Buckeyes have struggled with free throws in this season and that trend continued as they were just 2-11 from the line when Addis stepped to the line trying to hold on to a one-point lead. Addis calmly hit a free throw to extend the slim margin to two and hit two more to extend the lead. Sam Taylor would add two more to seal the Lady Buckeye victory.

The Lady Buckeyes will look to push their winning streak to 5 as they take on Wheelersburg this Saturday at home. For the Lady Vikings, they will try to rebound from this emotional loss as they host Alexander this Monday.