A wise old hunter once told me that in Africa in order to catch a lion you need to patient, clever and most of all, lucky. The Spartans caught the Little Miami Panthers on Monday, but on Thursday it was the Ursuline Academy (UA) Lions who came a calling to Klinger Court. Although both teams struggled to score, and defense dominated the game, Turpin, found a way to force overtime. It took two extra periods, but the Spartans prevailed 42-30.
Turpin couldn’t execute early and were held scoreless the first 6 minutes of the game as the offense was well scouted in advance by the visitors. Ellie Holt finally broke the ice with a lay-up, but after the first horn, the Spartans were down 8-2 to one of Cincinnati’s perennial basketball powers. Holt continued to keep the Spartans in the game in the 2nd quarter with 4 free throws sandwiched around a 3 point jumper. A lay-up by Elise Schulok added to the cause as the hosts outscored UA 9-6 in the 2nd. Although they played a rough 1st half, Turpin trailed by only 3 at half.
The 2nd half started with UA picking up 2 quick fouls - a theme that would eventually haunt them later in the contest. After Holt added a floating jump shot for 2, Savanah Hazenfield, who was held scoreless in the 1st half, came out with purpose hitting a short jumper before depositing a 3 point field goal. The visitors continued to shoot well and found themselves up 22-18 going into the 4th.
In the final quarter, Hazenfield drained two free throws to go along with another 3 pointer. Holt went 2 for 2 from the charity stripe and Schulok tied the game at 27 by hitting both of her free throws 34 seconds left in regulation. Foul problems plagued the Lions as the Spartans got the to line 12 times in the final quarter, however, the Spartans could only convert on half the attempts. With the game tied and just 3 seconds remaining, UA’s center was called for a flagrant foul on Olivia Hamilton sending the sophomore forward to line. Both attempts missed the mark sending the game to OT.
In the first extra period, 2 more UA starters fouled out of the game. Yet, only a 3 pointer from UA separated the two teams. With 15 seconds left, the game looked out of reach. Hazenfield with the help of Brielle Robinson took the inbounds pass and what happened next is the “luck” every big game hunter craves. Hazenfield heaved up a 3 pointer from the right side that banked into the basket with 7 seconds remaining. The Lions were stunned, the crowd energized and the Spartans full of adrenaline. On to a 2nd OT.
The second OT was all Spartans. Hazenfield buried a 3 pointer then she found Olivia Hamilton down the sideline resulting in a lay-up. 35-30 Turpin. After a lone Holt free throw, Hazenfield was fouled and she converted both free throws for a 38-30 lead. Two more Holt free throws and a lay-up by Audrey Robinson closed out a 12-0 run. Turpin improves to 2-0 in this young season.
Big Cat Hunt Continues - Next: at Loveland Tigers for ECC opener on Saturday, Dec 2nd.
Scoring: Hazenfield 18; Holt 16; Schulok 4; Hamilton 2; A. Robinson 2