Waterford Rallies in Overtime for District Title

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Ellie Jo Johnson nailed both free throws.  Eighteen seconds until an upset, the Lady Jeeps led Waterford 35-33.  South Webster’s fans went crazy.  Waterford’s side sat stunned.  Meanwhile the players on the court played on.

Hayley Duff went coast-to-coast and threw up a shot.  The ball banked off the backboard and in with three seconds left.  Tied game stayed tied at the buzzer.  Waterford and South Webster needed extra basketball to find the ruler of the district.

Overtime went back and forth until the buzzer sounded.  The scoreboard read 41-40.  Waterford escaped.

The final minute of overtime saw three lead changes.  Rachael Adams put Waterford ahead 39-38, but Johnson responded with a basket of her own with 30 seconds remaining.  South Webster led 40-39.

Alli Kern took back the lead for the final time with 14.2 seconds remaining.  Johnson tried to drive up the court but dribbled off of her foot as Waterford attacked.  Waterford took the ball with five seconds left, sealing the win.

“We went to the diamond for that reason,” said Waterford coach Jerry Close.  “I didn’t want her to be able to dribble the length of the floor.”

The Lady Jeeps and the Lady Wildcats turned the ball over four times in the first 24 seconds of the fourth quarter and only continued throughout.  Megan Ball was called for a travel with 1:27 remaining in the quarter and a 33-30 lead for her team.  That lead soon went away.

Ball’s turnover came just after returning to the game from the bench.  Ball and Johnson each got their fourth fouls within 20 seconds of each other early in the fourth quarter.  Ball went right to the bench.  Johnson didn’t leave until the end of the game.

“Ellie was able to stay in the game into overtime.  I was able to give Megan a bit of a break because we had a little bit of a lead then,” said Coach Close.  “It changed us offensively because Megan is one we look to, but we tried to attack Ellie Jo and it didn’t work out.  She finally fouled out late but we would’ve like to have picked that up a little sooner.”

Waterford had an early thanks to success crashing the boards.  The Lady Wildcats had 10 rebounds, four offensive, just 4:30 into the game.

Ball scored and converted at the line for a 12-9 Waterford lead.  South Webster scored four straight to take the lead and the two squads traded off from there.  After the Lady Jeeps took a 13-12 lead, the lead changed five times before Waterford ended the half ahead 19-18.

Duff took 10 shots in the game, just as many as Ball and Kern combined.  Ball led Waterford with 10 points and Duff added nine.

No Waterford player converted on a three pointer.

Johnson was incredible on the night.  Johnson scored a whopping 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds.  Johnson nearly out-rebounded the rest of her team.  Most of South Webster’s possessions came from Waterford’s 20 turnovers, including seven in the fourth quarter.

The win gave Waterford another District Championship and a continued chance at another appearance at the Schottenstein Center.  Waterford will see TVC-Hocking foe Eastern Thursday again at Jackson High School.  Waterford has beaten Eastern in both games, but the Lady Eagles came off a double overtime upset of Portsmouth Notre Dame.