By Michael Rich
The Olentangy Orange girls basketball team outscored visiting St. Francis DeSales 10-3 in the final four minutes, but ultimately came up short, falling 38-36 Monday night in Lewis Center.
Courtney Scott scored seven points during the run. She stole an inbound pass and turned it into a layup, then followed with a three-pointer she banked in from the right wing on the next possession to make it 35-34 with about 1:20 left.
“She did some good things — she scored for us,” Pioneers coach Bob Scott said. “She pressured the ball, she got her hands on the ball, so that was a good thing.”
DeSales finished by hitting 3-of-4 at the line after missing its first six free throws to leave the door open for the Pioneers.
“We had a chance there,” Scott said. “We were down one and got a steal. We got a nice shot, it just didn’t drop. We had a couple of shots – a couple of good looks at the basket.”
Scott, a freshman, had two difficult looks at the basket in the final possession, but couldn’t get either of them to fall, including a three-point attempt from the corner that went long as time expired.
Alyssa Feeley started the final spurt with a basket and followed on the next possession with an assist to McKenna Ford on the right wing to cut the lead to 35-29 with 2:51 to play. Ford finished with nine points and three rebounds.
“When we slowed down and got ourselves under control, we got back in the game,” Scott said.
The Stallions (9-7) used a balanced attack during an 11-0 run in the final minute and a half of the first quarter to take control. They led 14-5 after one. Five different players had baskets in the first quarter, including Morgan Mitevski, who hit a three.
“In the first half, we were way out of control and we turned the ball over and that was the difference in the game,” Scott said.
Ford hit two threes in the second quarter for the Pioneers (6-10), but DeSales was able to increase its lead, scoring the final six points on three-pointers by Sydney Wilson and Mitevski. Wilson had 13 points and five steals to lead the Stallions.
Schae Lilly, who led Orange with 13 points, scored seven of them in the third quarter, including a three-pointer that pulled it to 25-18 with 3:07 remaining in the period.
“She made some shots, that was the big thing,” Scott said. “She can score. When she makes shots, we’re right in the ballgame … that’s the biggest thing that we needed her to do.”
Emma Burns hit a three-pointer and the Stallions led 28-19 through three. Burns finished with nine points, four steals and three rebounds.
Lena Mancini finished with team-highs in both assists (four) and steals (four). Hannah Sargent had 10 rebounds and Bree McCague pulled down six for the Pioneers, who have now dropped four in a row.
Next, Orange hosts district-rival Olentangy in OCC-Capital play Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.