ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — A tough finish to an otherwise solid performance.
Senior Jessie Addis converted an offensive putback with 20 seconds remaining, allowing visiting Nelsonville-York to sneak away from Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium on Monday night with a 52-51 victory over the Meigs girls basketball team in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division contest in Meigs County.
There were eight ties and 21 lead changes over the course of the 32-minute affair, with both squads holding leads in each of the four quarters of play. The Lady Buckeyes (15-6, 9-2 TVC Ohio) led by as many as seven points in the opening frame, while the host Lady Marauders (10-11, 6-6) were up by as many as four points early in the second canto.
The Maroon and Gold led 36-34 through three periods of play, but both teams battled through four ties and eight lead changes down the stretch — which led to one dramatic finish in the final 60 second of play.
Grace Sinnott converted a layup with 55 seconds remaining, allowing NYHS to secure a 50-49 cushion. Kassidy Betzing, however, answered with a basket 19 second later — allowing the hosts to secure their final lead of the game 51-50.
After Meigs missed a pair of free throws, Tessa Kaaz missed the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity — but Addis chased down the offensive rebound. Addis took a small dribble forward and released the putback from about five feet away from the right side, and the attempt bounced off the glass and into the basket.
The Lady Marauders had a chance late, but a rushed three-pointer bounced off the backboard and into the arms of Addis — who dribbled towards midcourt as the clock expired.
Meigs ultimately closed the gap on NYHS, but the Orange and Brown still claimed a season sweep after posting a 55-53 win in Athens County back on Jan. 11.
The hosts shot a higher percentage from the field and made eight more trifectas in the game than Nelsonville-York, but the game’s final outcome ultimately came down to turnovers and free throw shooting.
The Lady Marauders committed 14 turnovers and converted only 2-of-6 free throw chances for 33 percent, including an 0-for-3 effort in the fourth quarter. The guests, conversely, had only seven mistakes and went 9-of-17 at the charity stripe for 53 percent.
At the end of the night, MHS coach Jarrod Kasun was frustrated because his troops gave an effort worthy of a win — but they didn’t do enough little things consistently to get the victory.
“You have to make free throws and you have to box out when other teams shoot,” Kasun said. “We didn’t convert free throws when we needed them and we allowed the best player in the league to get an offensive rebound on a free throw and beat us.
“We needed to step up to challenge there late and we didn’t. It was just another game that we ultimately let get away this season.”
NYHS overcame an early 2-0 deficit by making a 14-5 run over five-plus minutes to secure the largest lead of the night at 14-7 with 1:49 remaining, but Madison Hendricks hit a trifecta with 38 seconds left in the opener to end the first quarter with Meigs facing a 14-10 deficit.
The Lady Marauders answered with a 13-4 run to start the second frame, allowing the hosts to take their largest lead of the night at 23-18 following a Becca Pullins three-pointer with 2:49 remaining.
Joscelyn Heller converted a rare four-point play to whittle the lead down to one, then both teams traded two baskets apiece over the final 1:12. Hendricks converted a layup just five seconds before halftime, giving the hosts a slim 27-26 cushion at the break.
Pullins capped a 7-4 run with a trifecta at the 3:10 mark of the third, giving the Lady Marauders their largest second half advantage at 34-30. NYHS answered with four straight points to knot things up at 34-all, but Hendricks again converted a free throw with six seconds left to push MHS ahead 36-34 headed into the finale.
The Lady Buckeyes made an 8-0 run over the opening 2:22 of the finale for a 42-36 edge, but Marissa Noble countered with back-to-back three-pointers to again tie the game at 42-all with 4:42 remaining. Neither team led by more than two points the rest of the way.
Nelsonville-York outrebounded the hosts by a 35-32 overall margin, including an 11-8 edge on the offensive glass. Meigs also committed half of its 14 turnovers in the third quarter, while the Lady Buckeyes were turnover-free over the final eight minutes of regulation.
The Lady Marauders made 20-of-53 field goal attempts for 38 percent, including a 9-of-24 effort from behind the arc for 38 percent.
Betzing led Meigs with 17 points and nine rebounds, followed by Pullins with 12 points and six caroms. Noble was next with 10 points, while Hendricks and Madison Fields completed the MHS tally with respective efforts of seven and five markers.
Fields and Taylor Swartz also hauled in five boards apiece in the setback.
The Orange and Brown netted 21-of-59 total shot attempts for 36 percent, including a 1-of-13 effort from three-point range for eight percent.
Addis led NYHS with a game-high 18 points, followed by Heller and Haley Hurd with 11 markers apiece. Hurd also recorded a double-double with a game-high 10 rebounds.
Ashleigh Cantrell and Kyla Henderson were next with four points apiece, while Sinnott and Mary Kate McCullough completed the winning total with two points each. Henderson also hauled in nine caroms in the victory.
Meigs completes its regular season on Thursday when it hosts Warren in a non-conference matchup as part of Senior Night festivities at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.