CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — And here we go again.
The Ohio Valley Christian girls basketball team is headed to its fourth consecutive OCSAA Final Four appearance this weekend following an impressive 45-20 victory over host New Hope Christian Saturday in a Southeast Regional championship contest at Ohio Christian University in Pickaway County.
The second-seeded Lady Defenders (11-13) limited the top-seeded Lady Statesmen to seven or fewer points in each of the four periods of play, as the guests jumped out to a 9-4 lead after eight minutes and never looked back.
OVCS followed with a 14-7 second quarter surge to secure a 23-11 halftime advantage, then went on a 17-5 tear in the third period to claim a commanding 40-16 lead headed into the finale.
The Lady Defenders managed just one field goal and went 3-of-14 at the free throw line in the fourth, but still claimed a 5-4 edge down the stretch to wrap up the 25-point triumph.
Ohio Valley Christian will face the Northeast Regional champion in a semifinal matchup at 4:30 p.m. Friday on the campus of OCU.
The Lady Defenders connected on 16-of-45 field goal attempts for 36 percent, including a 2-of-6 effort from three-point range for 33 percent. The guests were also 11-of-28 overall at the free throw line for 39 percent.
Emily Carman led OVCS with a game-high 19 points, followed by Bekah Sargent with a double-double effort of 10 points and 12 rebounds. Rachel Sargent also chipped in seven points and 10 rebounds to the winning cause.
Sarah Schoonover and Cassandra Hutchinson each contributed four points apiece for the guests, while Teah Elliott rounded out the winning tally with one marker. Schoonover and Elliott also forced four steals apiece for the Lady Defenders, who outrebounded NHCA by a 49-31 overall margin.
Bethany Conrade paced the Lady Statesmen with 10 points, followed by Abigail Brown with six markers. Grace Brown and Kayleah Wright also scored two points apiece in the setback. The hosts were 3-of-8 at the charity stripe for 38 percent.