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Northview made great strides from its Northern Lakes League opener at Perrysburg 38 days ago, and the Wildcats pushed the visiting Yellow Jackets to the limit Friday night.
But, at the end, the unbeaten Jackets had just a little more in the tank and on the scoreboard in a 53-49, double-overtime girls basketball victory.
“I didn’t know about double overtime, but I knew we were going to get a great game from them,” Perrysburg coach Todd Sims said. “We handled them pretty well the first time we played them, but I expected a dog fight [this time], which is what we got.”
Perrysburg (11-0, 8-0 NLL) got 16 points and 13 rebounds from 6-foot-1 junior center Sarah Baer and hit seven of 10 free throws in the second OT to escape with the win, despite shooting just 27 percent (14 of 52) from the field and committing 21 turnovers.
Perrysburg won the first NLL meeting 53-32 back on Nov. 27. On this night, however, the Jackets were in for a battle.
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With half of its 12-player varsity roster made up of members from its 23-0-0, Division I state championship soccer team, Perrysburg knows a thing or two about winning games. In fact, 47 of the Jackets’ 53 points were scored by a combination of five of those soccer champions.
“Our kids don’t quit,” Sims said. “We survived. I think our kids are just so used to winning — with the soccer state championship, and the volleyball team having a great season.
“They’re used to winning, and they play with confidence when sometimes other teams may get a little jittery at the end.”
Beyond Baer’s 16 points, junior guard Abby Sattler had 12, sophomore forward Lindy DeLong seven, senior guard and soccer All-America Maddy Williams had six, and sophomore forward Allex Brown added six.
None of the points were bigger than DeLong’s three that tied the score at 46 on a three-point play converted with just 17.7 seconds left in the first overtime. After Williams scrambled to the floor for loose-ball rebound in the Northview lane, she got the ball to DeLong, who went coast-to-coast for a layup.
The points saved the game for Perrysburg, and the foul on Northview’s talented 6-foot sophomore forward Kendall McCoy severely hindered the Wildcats’ subsequent chances of winning.
It was the fifth foul for McCoy, who had been dominant with 23 points and seven rebounds before fouling out and missing the second OT.
“Obviously, when McCoy fouled out, that hurt them a lot,” Sims said. “She played a great game and she’s a very good scorer.”
Northview, which also got 14 points and 11 boards from 6-1 sophomore forward Kendall Jessing, earlier notched its own crucial four-point play just to send the game beyond regulation after it appeared Perrysburg had the game in hand.
In a call that may have been correctly made, but executed improperly, by the officiating crew, McCoy attacked the left baseline to convert a 10-footer with 31.8 seconds left, pulling Northview within 39-37.
A foul away from the ball was called, but McCoy, who had taken the shot, was sent to the line. She converted both ends of a one-and-one opportunity at the line, when either she should not have been shooting, or only shooting to complete a three-point play.
Perrysburg answered on a short bank shot by Baer with 25 seconds left, but Northview forced OT at 41 on Jessing’s eight-foot bank shot at the other end 11 seconds later.
In the second OT, Northview took its final lead on a free throw by Maddie Cole with 3:10 left. Brown answered by netting three of four foul shots on two trips, and Perrysburg held on. DeLong hit one of two at the stripe with 36 seconds left, and Sattler iced things with a pair of free throws 18 seconds later.
“We played much harder tonight than we played the first time against them,” Northview coach Jerry Sigler said, “and I think we put them in a situation where they hadn’t been before — in a real close game.
“But they rallied. They did what they had to do, and in my mind they’re the best team in this area. That’s how I see it. They’ve got a nice complement of inside and outside, and they play hard.”
Northview, which trailed by seven early in the second quarter before trailing 21-18 at halftime, shot just 38 percent (18 of 47) from the field, was outrebounded 38-34, and was hindered by 28 turnovers.
The Jackets held a 22-9 edge in made free throws in the game.
Contact Steve Junga at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6461 or on Twitter@JungaBlade.