CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — The final half made all the difference in the finale.
The Ohio Valley Christian girls basketball team was outscored 39-29 over the last 16 minutes of regulation, allowing Dayton Temple Christian to pull away from a slim two-point halftime lead and claim a 61-49 decision in the Ohio Christian School Athletic Association championship game Saturday afternoon at Ohio Christian University in Pickaway County.
The Lady Defenders (9-14) kept pace with the Lady Tigers for one half of play, as OVCS trailed 14-9 after eight minutes of play before going on an 11-8 second quarter surge to enter the intermission trailing 22-20.
DTCS started its second half charge with a 20-15 run in the third canto, which gave the hosts a 42-35 cushion headed into the finale. The Lady Tigers ended regulation with a 19-14 run to wrap up the state championship with a 12-point decision.
The state runner-up Lady Defenders connected on 19-of-52 field goal attempts for 37 percent, including a 3-of-9 effort from three-point range for 33 percent. The guests committed 15 turnovers, had 12 assists and also went 8-of-16 at the free throw line for 50 percent.
Emily Carman led Ohio Valley Christian with 15 points, followed by Madison Crank with 13 points and Bekah Sargent with 11 markers. Teah Elliott and Sarah Crank rounded out the respective scoring with six and four points.
Sargent led the guests with 13 rebounds and Madison Crank hauled in five caroms to go along with three assists. Carman also had three assists for OVCS.
Anique Kenniebrew paced Temple Christian with a game-high 18 points, followed by Megan Fitzgerald with 14 points and Kayla Ausmus with 13 markers. Rachel Napier also had 11 points for the victors, who went 13-of-25 from the charity stripe for 52 percent.
It was the final basketball game for senior Madison Crank in the Blue and Gold. Crank leaves OVCS as the school’s alltime leading scorer with 1,163 career points.