CINCINNATI — With the game tied 48-48 and with her team in possession of the ball Wayne Coach Sonya Miller made a decision to call timeout. It might be a decision that could haunt her for a while.
Just after Maya Dunson, arguably the team’s best shooter crossed midcourt Miller called timeout with two and a half seconds left. If Dunson put up a shot and missed, the worst outcome would be overtime. If she drew a foul taking a final shot Wayne would have a chance to win.
Instead, after the timeout Mount Notre Dame sophomore guard Gabbie Marshall came up with a steal and got fouled by Wayne center Shai McGruder. Marshall was trying to maneuver past another Wayne player and collided with McGruder, who tried to avoid running into Marshall.
With three tenths of a second left Marshall went to the foul line and sank both shots to seal the victory for the Cougars, 50-48. Marshall and McGruder led each of their respective teams with 14 points.
Mount Notre Dame, the No. 4 seed, advances to play the winner of the Springboro vs McAuley game on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. at Kettering’s Trent Arena. The Cougars snapped a 10 game win streak by the No. 1 seed Lady Warriors, who end their season at 20-5 overall.
Wayne led 17-13 after the first quarter, 30-24 at halftime and increased its lead to 42-35 entering the final period after Dunson came up with a steal and tossed the ball to Destiny Bohanon who raced in to score an uncontested layup.
After that the Cougars began chipping away at Wayne’s lead. Six foot tall junior forward Abby Voss scored off a rebound and sophomore guard Rebecca Kemper scored inside to cut Wayne’s lead to 42-39. Nyla Hampton answered with a basket inside to boost the lead to 44-39. Marshall drew a foul from Bohanon and sank both shots and with 2:23 left 6-foot sophomore forward Julia Hoefling drove inside to cut the deficit to 44-43.
Mali Morgan-Elliott scored inside to boost Wayne’s lead to three, but Hoefling buried a 3-pointer to tie the game at 46 with the Cougars immediately calling timeout with 1:40 remaining.
When play resumed Mount Notre Dame came up with a steal and worked the ball around to find a good look while taking 45 seconds off the clock in the process. The Cougars finally took a shot but missed and Morgan-Elliott controlled the re bound for Wayne, which called timeout with 55 seconds remaining.
Bohanon drove to the hoop for the go-ahead bucket but Marshall answered with a basket for the Cougars and drew foul in the process. Marshall missed the bonus and Wayne snared the rebound to setup the last second drama mentioned earlier.
After the game when the final foul call was discussed, Miller knew it was a bad break.
“You can’t be in harm’s way. At the end of a game like that you gotta know that it is important to keep your hands up in the backcourt and you just have to be smart,” Miller said.
When asked if she was second guessing the decision to not let Dunson take the ball in for a final shot on her team’s last possession, Miller said there were a few things that could have been handled differently.
“Yeah, there is a couple of things that could have been done differently throughout the game,” she said. “At the moment we thought it would be best to do something different.”
McGruder, who scored eight points in the first quarter, got shutdown in the final quarter by Mount Notre Dame players clogging the inside.
“Their post play was solid. Hats off to them for a job well done,” Miller added.
MND 13 24 35 50 – 50
WAY 17 30 42 48 – 48
Mount Notre Dame: Madison Marcum 3, Abby Voss 10, Gabbie Marshall 14, Rebecca Kemper 2, Maria Pisciotta 10, Julie Hoefling 11. Totals: 17-13-50.
Wayne: Dominique Camp 2, Nyla Hampton 6, Mali Morgan-Elliott 10, Destiny Bohanon 8, Shai McGruder 14, Maya Dunson 8. Totals: 19-7-48.
3-point goals: Mount Notre Dame 3 (Marcum, Voss, Hoefling); Wayne 3 (Dunson 2, Morgan-Elliott).
Records: Mount Notre Dame 22-4, Wayne 20-5.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind