For the second time in 3 years, the Turpin Spartans earned a place in the sectional finals in the Division 1 basketball tournament. Last evenings opponent, the #2 seed Mason Comets, were also the ranked 5th in the state going into the postseason. However, the Spartans were not intimidated and dominated the first half, but Mason rallied after the intermission to escape the Spartans upset bid, 37-34.
Defense was the theme in the 2nd quarter as both teams made it a priority. Turpin managed to score first as Hazenfield hit another 3 pointer and Olivia scored again inside. The Spartans led 17-4 midway through the 2nd quarter. Mason finally scored a couple of baskets to cut into the lead but Olivia added another interior field goal as the Spartans were shocking the Comets, 19-9 at intermission.
Mason was determined to get back into the game, and that they did in the 3rd. The Comets scored 15 points while holding the Spartans to just a Workman basket and a pair free throws from both Kerregan and Lindsey Viel. Yet, the Spartans still led by one, 25-24 going into the final quarter. All the pressure was still on Mason as the 5th ranked team in Ohio was on the ropes with only eight minutes to play.
In the 4th, Mason’s interior players continued to crash the boards which got them back into the contest and their persistent defense clamped down on Kaitlyn Workman making it hard for the Spartans to run their offensive sets. Savanah Hazenfield compensated for the offensive shortfall by going 4 for 4 from the foul line then hitting a floating one hander as the game was tied 31-31 with 3 minutes to play. The Comets would go 6 of 8 from the free throw line before Ellie Holt hit a 3 pointer with less than 2 seconds to play for the final margin. The Spartans upset bid fell just short as the Comets survive, 37-34. A fantastic season concludes. Well done ladies!
Scoring: Kerregan 3; Holt 5; O. Hamilton 7; Hazenfield 12; Workman 5; Viel 2
In closing, this writer would like to thank the following people for making these game summaries possible: Coach Hopewell and the entire coaching staff for their access and cooperation; Russ & Lisa Viel for the fine photography; Jerry Gunning for the extra #2 pencils; and of course, the AD’s office. Lastly and most importantly, a shout out to all the players on a remarkable season! You were the best team on and off the court as you represented yourselves, your team, your school and your community with class. Go Spartans!