DIV. II GIRLS Salem, West Branch win tourney games at Fitch
The Quakers outlasted Hubbard in two overtimes on Alyson Cotter's goal, while the Warriors rolled past Struthers.
By GARY HOUSTEAU
AUSTINTOWN -- It was played the way a tournament basketball game ought to be.
Salem High needed two overtimes to knock off Hubbard 65-64, in the opening game of a Division II girls basketball tournament doubleheader at Fitch High.
Salem's Alyson Cotter scored the last two of her team-high 16 points, kissing one off the glass with three seconds remaining in the second overtime for the game-winner.
Cotter grabbed a rebound after Lauren Teal's miss inside, took a couple of dribbles to the other side of the basket, and then scored the clincher to hand Hubbard its third consecutive sectional-final defeat.
Close throughout: Neither team led by more than five points throughout the contest. In the fourth quarter, Hubbard's biggest lead was four (42-38), and Salem could do no better than tie the score at 42, 46, 48 and 50, the score at the end of regulation.
Things got bad real fast for the Quakers (12-9) in the first overtime. Hubbard (18-4) reeled off the first five points of the period and led 55-50 with just 1:54 remaining.
Cotter took over for Salem; the talented sophomore, who also had eight rebounds, made a pair of free throws, then, after Angel Bata of Hubbard made one of two free throws, Cotter knocked down a 3-pointer to close it to 56-55 with 23 seconds remaining.
Markovich ties it: Lynle Cornell of Hubbard converted one of two free throws, then Abby Markovich hit a short jumper to knot it at 57 with three seconds remaining, forcing a second overtime.
"We wanted to get revenge on them," said Cotter of the Eagles, who defeated Salem in the regular season.
With just a little more success at the free throw line, where they were 14-of-23, the Eagles could have realized a different outcome.
"You've got to make free throws to win," said Hubbard coach Dave Konczal. "And I think the second thing that hurt us was when we lost Anna [DeJulio] with about two minutes to go [in regulation]. It forced us to put Jami [DuVall] back to the point, and I didn't think we were as effective doing that."
Injured: DeJulio suffered a slight concussion when she hit heads with one of her teammates in the first-round victory over Southeast. She never played in the second half of that game, and was questionable for Thursday's contest.
DuVall was effective from the second half and on, no matter which position she played at on the court. She led all scorers with 25 points.
"I didn't really see what happened in that scramble, but we lost a scramble at the end of the first overtime and then again at that second overtime," Konczal said. "We couldn't come up with the ball twice and I think that was the game."
Teal's had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Salem, while Tiffany Heestand scored 16.
Katy Jo Mroski of Hubbard scored just two free throws after the first half to finish with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
West Branch 61, Struthers 18: The Quakers will have an opportunity to avenge another regular season loss, this time West Branch, the second seed.
The Warriors (17-4), who hadn't in a week, led 13-2 after one and 32-5 at the half.
"Defense is our game," said West Branch coach Chuck Campbell. "We come out and we thought we actually started a little slow in the first couple of minutes and all of a sudden we got our feet back and got it rolling."
Balanced attack: Amber Metzger led a balanced scoring attack for West Branch with 13 points, while Tori Arndt had 12, Ashley Armstrong 11 and Laura Bandy nine. Arndt, just a freshman, had 12 of the Warriors' 44 rebounds.
Kristy Marapese had 11 points including three 3-pointers to lead Struthers (6-16).