By TED RADICK
The shot looked dead on.
St. Wendelin coach Aaron Smith thought so, too.
“It looked like it was on line and it just didn’t hang in there,” Smith said after Allie Rutter’s 3-point attempt with two seconds left bounced off the rim to allow Arcadia to come away with a 43-41 victory and a Division IV sectional championship Saturday at Findlay High School.
Arcadia’s Molly Glick snared the rebound off Rutter’s shot to close out the win for the Redskins (19-5), who advance to play Toledo Christian (17-6) at 8 p.m. Thursday in a district semifinal at Gibsonburg.
In the opening game, Carey built an eight-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, saw that lead trimmed to one point in the final nine seconds and held on to defeat Arlington 57-52. The Blue Devils (20-2) play Danbury (14-10) in a district semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Thursday at Gibsonburg.
Arcadia and St. Wendelin (17-6) hooked up in a back and forth game that saw nine lead changes before Arcadia’s Molly Glick drove the baseline, kept possession as she went under the basket and dropped in a reverse layup to tie the score at 37-37 with 4:16 to play.
Ninety seconds later, Glick snared a rebound off a missed layup by St. Wendelin’s Makenzie McAfee and headed up court. In her way was the Mohawks’ 6-foot-3 sophomore post Kamryn Troike.
It was a 50-50 call as Glick went down the lane for a layup. It went Arcadia’s way as a block was called, and the St. Wendelin bench was called for a technical foul.
After some confusion over the order of free throws, Courtney Cramer hit one of the technical foul shots to give the Redskins the lead for good at 40-37.
“I thought it was an NBA call,” said Smith, who said the technical foul was not called on him. “She got bumped way before she shot it. The shot shouldn’t have counted.
“I don’t know what he heard on the bench, but he didn’t like it. You hate to see somebody take over a game like that. A close game, well-played. Whatever was said, you suck it up or you come and warn somebody.”
With possession of the ball after the technical, Arcadia ran some time off the clock before Cramer, who finished with a team-high 16 points, hit a pair of free throws to put the Redskins up 42-37.
Back came the Mohawks, as Taylor Williams was fouled while hitting a 3-pointer and knocked down her foul shot. With one more possession after a Cramer free throw with 14 seconds left, St. Wendelin set up at the top of the key.
“The last play was either into Kam if she’s wide open, or if not Rutter takes a 3 and we get out of here,” Smith said. “She stepped up, I have to give her credit, she stepped up and took the shot. All that time and it came down to one shot. If it goes in, we move on.”
Troike finished with game highs of 20 points and 17 rebounds for St. Wendelin. McAfee had eight points and Williams seven.
“You have to know where Troike is at all times, and you have to put wrinkles in to stop her,” Arcadia coach Randy Baker said. “But you can’t forget about the other kids. They were hitting threes and hitting shots, everyone talks about Kamryn and she’s a great player, but she has a nice supporting cast, too.”
Maddie Mock had 11 points for Arcadia and Glick eight. Rebecca Kirian had six rebounds.
The opening game was also tight throughout and down the stretch. Two free throws from Ali Rymer gave Carey a 45-37 lead with just less than five minutes remaining before an Arlington rally.
Arlington guards Hannah Johnson and Whitney Dodds worked inside for layups, then Johnson did it again as the Red Devils closed to within 47-46.
“We may have gotten a little tired in the fourth quarter,” Carey coach Phil Vaughn said. “They were getting inside time and again.”
Sydney Wentling gave the Blue Devils some breathing room with a 3-pointer, but Carey couldn’t quite pull away. The Blue Devils led 54-52 after Hannah Draper hit a free throw with nine seconds left.
Arlington took a timeout with four seconds remaining to set up a final shot. Dani Heaster looked open streaking to the basket, but the inbound pass was grazed off her fingertips and sailed harmlessly out of bounds along the baseline.
“We just threw it a little too far,” Arlington coach Seth Newlove said. “We worked on that play in practice yesterday and it worked great. I thought we had her open and the pass went off her fingers a little bit. It was unfortunate.”
Carey closed it out as Rymer hit Draper with a long inbound pass for a conventional 3-point play with a second left. Rymer finished with game highs of 16 points and 12 rebounds. Draper had 14 points, Sydney Wentling 12 and Makenzie Wentling 10.
Rymer, Draper and Makenzie Wentling are all seniors, and Vaughn credited their experience in staying calm in a close ballgame.
“It’s a senior-laden team, and they tried to take Sydney out of the ballgame,” he said. “Everybody else kept playing, and all the seniors stepped up and made something happen.”
Johnson led Arlington with 13 points. Heaster had 12 points and Haley Dillon seven rebounds.
Mains 3-0–7, Dillon 1-3–5, Heaster 3-5–12, Webb 0-0–0, McMath 0-0–0, Dodds 2-1–5, H. Johnson 5-3–13, M. Johnson 2-0–4, Nichols 0-3–3, Alexander 1-0–3. TOTALS: 17-40 15-29–52.
Rymer 5-6–16, L. Johnson 0-3–3, Draper 3-8–14, G. Wentling 0-1–1, Kin 0-1–1, S. Wentling 5-0–12, M. Wentling 3-3–10. TOTALS: 16-37 22-34–57.
Arlington 7 17 11 17 — 52
Carey 6 14 20 17 — 57
3-POINT GOALS: Arlington 3-12 (Mains, Heaster, Alexander); Carey 3-4 (S. Wentling 2, M. Wentling).
REBOUNDS: Carey 31 (Rymer 12); Arlington 24 (Dillon 6).
TURNOVERS: Carey 12, Arlington 12.
Mock 5-0–11, Kirian 0-0–0, Glick 4-0–8, Cramer 4-6–16, Dauterman 2-0–4, Coward 2-0–4. TOTALS: 17-42 6-14–43.
ST. WENDELIN (17-6)
Williams 2-1–7, Burns 0-0–0, Rutter 1-2–4, McAfee 4-0–8, Mowrey 1-0–2, Troike 10-0–20. TOTALS: 18-38 3-3–41.
Arcadia 6 13 12 12 — 43
St. Wendelin 8 12 15 6 — 41
3-POINT GOALS: Arcadia 3-9 (Cramer 2, Mock); St. Wendelin 2-5 (Williams 2).
REBOUNDS: Arcadia 19 (Kirian 6); St. Wendelin 27 (Troike 17).
TURNOVERS: Arcadia 3, St. Wendelin 10.
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