The Spartans won 52-49 in overtime, after Ashlee Russo fouled out.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
BOARDMAN -- Boardman High girls basketball coach Ron Moschella had just won his 400th game Saturday night and he was floored.
Seconds after beating visiting Hudson 52-49 in overtime, the Spartans engulfed Moschella, who tumbled over and lay on the floor in the middle of the celebration.
"They tackled me," Moschella, who has a career record of 400-99 (80 percent), said, "but it's the best tackle I ever took."
The Spartans' improbable comeback started when Boardman senior Ashlee Russo fouled out with 3 minutes, 43 seconds remaining in the game and the Spartans trailing 38-35.
Bland ties it: Boardman went on a 6-3 run, capped by a coast-to-coast drive and jumper by sophomore Amber Bland with 45 seconds to go to tie the game at 41. The Spartans' defense then suffocated Hudson (9-3), forcing the Explorers to take two timeouts before senior Alison Searle was whistled for a five-second violation.
Bridget Beachy had a chance to give Boardman the lead but missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Hudson junior Leah Getz missed a possible game-winner before the buzzer.
"I thought that when Ashlee Russo went down, we were done," Moschella said. "She's the leader and the heart of our team. The girls just took her heart and transplanted it into themselves."
Davis, Durkin click: The Spartans scored the first five points of overtime, then Hudson cut the lead to 46-45. After trading baskets, Allison Davis hit two free throws to give the Spartans a 50-47 lead. Hudson senior Meagan Workman scored, but the Explorers had to foul Boardman sophomore Brittany Durkin, who hit both free throws to seal the game.
"I went up to the line and said, 'I'm making these,' " Durkin said. "I knew it was up to me."
Getz tried to get a game-tying shot off with Bland and Durkin in her face, but the shot fell well short.
"I think we played with a lot of character," said Spartan junior Jen Hlebovy, who scored 10 points and added eight rebounds. "When Russo fouled out, everybody on the team knew we had to step up and try to replace her."
Bland gets 25: Bland led Boardman (11-1) with 25 points and nine rebounds, scoring five of the Spartans' 11 overtime points.
Russo added eight points, three rebounds and three assists.
Getz scored 16 points and added five rebounds and five steals for Hudson, which entered the game ranked 17th in the state in Division I. Junior Michelle White led the Explorers with 20 points, including 12 in the third quarter.
Walsh Jesuit 58, Ursuline 56: CUYAHOGA FALLS -- Ursuline fought back from an eight-point deficit but couldn't pull even with the Warriors.
Walsh Jesuit (10-1) led 38-30 in the third but Ursuline's Sarah McKelvey went to the foul line with three seconds remaining and the Irish down 58-55.
McKelvey made the first foul shot but missed the second.
Katie Gregorevich scored 17 points for the Warriors who had more rebounds, 41-27.
Courtney Davidson scored 35 points including six 3-pointers for the Irish (9-3).