By ANDREW WILLIAMS
GIBSONBURG — Carey’s Ali Rymer caught the ball in the high post on the left elbow.
Normally a routine play for the 5-foot-9 senior, except in this instance there was less than 25 seconds to play and the Blue Devils were deadlocked with Arcadia 45-45 in the Division IV district title game at Gibsonburg Saturday night.
Rymer put the ball on the floor to her dominant left side and worked around Abbie Dauterman for the would-be game-winning basket with 15.2 seconds remaining as Carey topped Arcadia 48-45 to capture the district crown.
“Ali knows when she gets the ball at the high post, she can put it on the floor, especially if she has her left hand to go to,” Carey coach Phil Vaughn said. “That was a look we definitely wanted.”
“I didn’t know if I should take it,” Rymer said of her final basket. “But then I just decided I probably should since it was kind of an open layup. I feel good about it now.
“It feels amazing to advance.”
The Blue Devils (22-2) move on to the regional semifinals at Elida, where they will face Midland Athletic League foe New Riegel in a 6 p.m. contest Thursday. The Blue Jackets toppled South Central 64-28 to earn their spot in the regional tournament.
Carey’s victory did not come quite as easily.
In a rematch of last year’s district final, which Arcadia won 36-33, the teams were never separated by more than four points in the second half. There were four lead changes and four ties during that span as well.
“We fought, Arcadia fought,” Vaughn said. “They made runs, our girls responded and made some runs back. It was just that kind of a game. We knew it was going to be that kind of a game. They have outstanding players.”
Arcadia trailed 25-22 at halftime, but Molly Glick scored 10 of the Redskins’ 12 points in the third quarter to overtake Carey and lead 34-32 entering the final period.
The 5-foot-11 junior scored 16 of her game-high 28 points in the second half and put Arcadia on her back during a stretch where starters Dauterman and Courtney Cramer were sitting with four fouls.
“We attacked a little bit better. Our defense was a little bit sharper,” Arcadia coach Randy Baker said of the third quarter.
“The fouls hurt us, with Cramer getting four. They had a slight bit of foul trouble there in the first half. We wanted to attack inside and see what (Glick) could do. She was able to take charge in the paint a little bit.”
Glick’s basket with 3:45 to play gave Arcadia a 42-41 lead and Rebecca Kirian’s free throw made it 43-41 just five seconds later.
Cramer hit a pair of free throws to put the Redskins up 45-43, but Rymer answered on the other end to tie it at 45-all with just more than two minutes to play.
Rymer’s basket with 15.2 seconds on the clock put Carey ahead for good. Arcadia was forced to intentionally foul Hannah Draper with 3.8 seconds remaining and she hit 1 of 2 for a 48-45 advantage.
Glick’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer found glass and rim, but wouldn’t go down.
Rymer finished with 13 points, Sydney Wentling added 12 and Draper tallied 10.
“It’s tough,” Baker said. “These kids played their hearts out for me this year. We struggled to find an identity all year and these guys just sucked it up.
“We tried to play to our strengths, take advantage of the other team’s weaknesses and these kids really, really played their hearts out for me. I couldn’t ask for anything more than what they gave me this year.
“We lost to a good team. We played hard. They were just a little bit better at the end.”
Mock 1-0–3, Kirian 0-1–1, Glick 11-6–28, Cramer 1-2–4, Dauterman 2-3–7, Coward 0-0–0. TOTALS: 15-41 12-20–45.
Kin 0-0–0, S. Wentling 4-1–12, M,. Wentling 0-2–2, Hoepf 0-0–0, Rymer 6-1–13, Johnson 3-2–8, G. Wentling 1-1–3, Draper 4-1–10. TOTALS: 18-43 8-17–48.
Arcadia 6 16 12 11 — 45
Carey 10 15 7 16 — 48
3-Point GOALS: Arcadia 1-7 (Mock); Carey 4-10 (S. Wentling 3, Draper).
rebounds: Arcadia 27 (Kirian 10); Carey 18 (Rymer & Johnson 5).
turnovers: Arcadia 18, Carey 13.
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