Caitlin Splain poured in 10 straight points to give the Olentangy Liberty girls basketball team a lead early in the fourth quarter, but host Worthington Christian regained the advantage with a clutch three-pointer from Katherine Weakley with 45.9 seconds left and held on for a 47-44 non-league win Friday night.
The game was tight from the start. The Warriors (5-1) got a triple from Megan Weakley on the first possession of the game and jumped out to a 9-3 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Patriots (1-4) trailed by that same six-point spread heading into the second, down 14-8, but evened things at 19 by halftime thanks in part to threes from Emma Karagheuzoff and Splain.
Worthington Christian’s Blessing King scored the first points of the second half with a layin one minute into the third, but Addison Marston got Liberty back to even with a pair of free throws on the other end. Jordan Rich scored on the Patriots’ next possession, giving her team a 23-21 lead with 6:32 left in the quarter.
That’s when Splain took over, scoring her team’s final eight points of the third and first two of the fourth. After a runner by Meghan Mayotte ended a 6-0 Liberty run, Splain hit a three, scored a layin off a steal and drilled another three before Mayotte scored a put-back bucket to slice Liberty’s lead to 33-30 at the end of three.
After King scored inside, Splain hit a baseline jumper, Marston scored inside and Splain got a hoop in transition to balloon the Patriot advantage to five, 39-34 with 5:30 left in the game.
Worthington Christian cut it to one with a steal and bucket from King, but Karagheuzoff hit her second triple of the game to push the Liberty lead back up to 42-38 with 3:35 left in the fourth.
The teams traded buckets for the next couple minutes, with the Patriots clinging to a 44-42 lead with the ball and 1:40 to go. Katherine Weakley drilled her dagger off a steal, though, and after Liberty came up empty at the other end, Megan Weakley calmly cashed in on a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game with 15.6 seconds left.
The Patriots had one last chance to tie, but never got a shot off as a late turnover ended any chance to extend the game.