Sophomore post Elea Karras (Bellbrook/Miami Valley) scored to bring Ohio Wesleyan within 57-55 with 1:11 left in regulation time, but Elmira sealed the game at the free throw line en route to a 60-55 win over the Bishops in the Division III St. Petersburg Classic on Thursday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Freshman guard Tia Karras (Bellbrook/Miami Valley) drove for a lay-in to even the game at 51 with 3:51 to play, but Elmira’s Danielle Cleary answered with a 3-pointer to put the Soaring Eagles ahead to stay.
After sophomore guard Nicole Popovich (Rocky River) and Elmira’s Emily Green traded baskets, Lauren Franklin hit the first of 2 free throws to give the Soaring Eagles a 57-53 lead with 1:19 left.
Karras scored to bring the Bishops within a bucket, then blocked a Rachel Vespucci shot and controlled the defensive rebound to give the ball back to Ohio Wesleyan, but sophomore guard Claire Sterling (West Jefferson) turned the ball over with :32 to play, and after a timeout, Lindsey Heaton hit the second of 2 free throws to give Elmira a 58-55 lead. Sterling missed a lay-in on Ohio Wesleyan’s ensuing possession and Heaton got the rebound, was fouled, and sank a pair of free throws for the 60-55 final.
Ohio Wesleyan opened the game with a 6-0 run that included buckets by Elea Karras, junior guard Erin Delaney (Toledo/Notre Dame Academy), and Popovich, and the Bishops would lead for most of the first quarter.
Elmira took off on a 13-0 run to open the second quarter, with Vespucci contributing 3 buckets during that span, and the Soaring Eagles led by a 31-23 count at the intermission.
The Bishops turned the tide by holding the Soaring Eagles without a basket for more than 5 minutes of the third quarter, coming back to knot the game at 32 on a Sterling jumper at the midway point and adding a 3-pointer by Tia Karras and a 3-point play by Elea Karras to take a 43-36 during the final minute of the period.
Elea Karras buried a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter and put the Bishops ahead, 46-38, but the Soaring Eagles answered with an 11-1 burst to retake the lead before Tia Karras’ fast-break lay-in tied the game at 49 with 4:28 to play.
Elea Karras led the Bishops with 14 points and 7 assists. Delaney finished with 13 points and Tia Karras scored 12 points. Popovich grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds.
Vespucci led Elmira with 17 points and 12 boards.