VANDALIA — Wayne freshman Destiny Bohanon sank two free throws in the final seconds of overtime to beat Lebanon 48-47 in the Division1 sectional final Saturday at Vandalia-Butler High School.
It was no surprise that this game would be a battle from start to finish. The last time these two teams met in the regular season Wayne prevailed in a close 40-39 victory. This time it took a 3-pointer by Bohanon at the end of regulation to force the game into overtime.
With 0.6 seconds remaining in OT and Lebanon in front 47-46 it was Bohanon who was called upon to shoot two free throws to either tie or win the game. Bohanon stepped to the line and with nerves of steel sank both free throws and delivered the victory for the Lady Warriors to advance to the next round of the Southwest District tournament.
Bohanon had 20 points and McGruder added 13 points to lead the way for Wayne. Maygen Buettcher had 16 points and Alexis Straw added 12 points to lead the scoring for Lebanon.
“We kept talking to each other,” said Shai McGruder concerning the tough win. “We kept telling each other this is our game; we worked way too hard to let this game be our last game. We kept fighting, we kept pushing and that’s how we ended up with the win.”
“They’re just fighters,” said Coach Sonya Miller. “They didn’t want their season to end. I’m just proud of them, to not just give up especially during a game like this. They knew what was on the line. They have a prize that is waiting for them and the only way to do that is to go through adversity. They met that adversity head on and they met the challenge and we got the ‘W’ out of it.”
Wayne got things rolling as Olivia Trice scored a quick basket and Maya Dunson hit a free throw to jump out to a 3-0 lead. But with just two minutes into the game Bohanon picked up two quick fouls and had to sit out.
Lebanon capitalized by going on a 9-0 run to take the lead 9-3 at the 1:26 mark in the first quarter. Wayne came back with a basket by McGruder and Mali Morgan-Elliott hit both free throws to shave the Lebanon lead to three points with the score 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Wayne tied the score 10-10 as Trice hit a bucket, but Lebanon came right back with a quick score from Jenna Bour to take the lead 12-10. Wayne regained the lead as McGruder got the steal and Bohanon converted on the layup to go in front 13-12. Lebanon answered as Ashley West scored a basket to go back in front 14-13. Wayne then hit two consecutive baskets; one on a drive to the hoop by Bohanon and an offensive rebound by McGruder to go out in front 17-14. In the final seconds of the second quarter Alexis Straw nailed a deep 3-pointer to tie the game at 17-17 to end the first half.
With Wayne in the lead 21-19 at the 5:53 mark in the third quarter Lebanon scored on three straight possessions to move back in front 25-21. Wayne pushed back as Bohanon drew the foul and hit both free throws and McGruder made a steal and was fouled on her way to the hoop. McGruder made a free throw to cut the Lebanon lead back to one point with 1:25 left in the third quarter. Lebanon extended the lead to 29-24 as Meygan Buettcher scored on two consecutive baskets with 20 seconds remaining in the third. Lebanon took a 31-26 advantage at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter Lebanon took their biggest lead of the night as Buettcher scored on a drive to the basket and converted on the one-and-one to take a seven point lead at the 6:09 mark. But Wayne would not be denied as they put together a 6-0 run to cut the lead to one point 35-34 with 4:16 remaining.
Lebanon came back with a score as Bour hit a layup to extend the lead to 37-34. Wayne answered as McGruder got a steal and passed to Bohanon who scored to cut the lead back to one point 37-36 with 1:32 remaining. With 50 seconds on the clock Buettcher drew the foul and hit two free throws to give Lebanon a 39-36 advantage.
With time winding down Bohanon drove to the basket and was fouled. The shot, that banked in was called off, as the foul was before the shot was in motion. Wayne was given the ball out of bounds with 20 seconds left. In the final seconds of regulation Bohanon nailed a 3-pointer to tie the score at 39-39 to send the game into OT.
In overtime Lebanon jumped out in front as Buettcher hit a basket and Straw hit a 3-pointer to take a 44-40 lead. But Wayne came back with three consecutive baskets, two by McGruder and one from Trice to regain the lead 46-44 with 33 seconds remaining. Rachel Perry made a free throw for Lebanon to cut Wayne’s lead to 46-45 with 12 seconds remaining. With 7.3 seconds Perry hit two more free throws to put Lebanon in front 47-46.
With Wayne down by one point and time running out on the clock Bohanon drove to the basket drawing the foul. With 0.6 seconds left in the game it was all in the hands of the freshman to deliver the win. Bohanon did not disappoint as she swished both shots giving Wayne the incredible overtime victory and sending the Lady Warriors on to the next round of the tournament.
Wayne (24-1) will next face Cincinnati Ursuline Academy (18-7) in the district tournament Saturday, Feb. 27 at Harrison High School at 3 p.m.
LEB 10 17 31 39 47 – 47
WAY 07 17 26 39 48 – 48
Lebanon: Alexis Straw 12, Rachel Perry 7, Maygen Boettcher 16, Ashley West 2, Rachel Sweetman 6, Jenna Bour 4. Totals: 15-11-47.
Wayne: Mali Morgan-Elliott 2, Olivia Trice 7, Destiny Bohanon 20, Shai McGruder 13, Maya Dunson 6. Totals: 16-13-48.
3-point goals: Lebanon 2 (Straw 2); Wayne 1 (Bohanon)
Records: Lebanon (17-8), Wayne (24-1)
Reach Steve Granata via email at firstname.lastname@example.org