Wildcats Use All 9 Lives To Escape Riders

St. Marys’ Carly Caywood drives in for a layup with Bath’s Ruby Bolon looking to block her shot during Thursday’s Western Buckeye League girls basketball game.
Sports Editor

The Wildcats needed all nine of their lives to survive the Roughriders on Senior Night.

Bath escaped three point-blank missed layups in the fourth quarter and overtime to snap St. Marys’ 12-game win streak with a 45-44 victory  in Thursday’s Western Buckeye League girls basketball match.

In what has become a rivalry between the two schools, this one yet again came down to the wire.

“It went about how I was expecting it, I just didn’t know who was going to win,” Roughriders coach Jon Burke said. “An OT game with Bath is what I was expecting and I knew it would come down to the last possession in one way or another.

“I am proud of our kids because they put us in a position to win and really, that is all you can do, put yourself in a position to win.”

Trailing 39-34 with 4:30 remaining in the game, Bath took a one-point lead on 3-pointers from Alxandria Renner and Madelyn Renner in back-to-back possessions with 3:11 left. 

Two lead changes ensued before Kendall Dieringer knocked down the second of her two free throw attempts to tie the game at 42-42 with 24.4 seconds left. 

On Bath’s next possession, the inbound pass was stolen by Carly Caywood, but Dieringer’s layup was off the mark as Bath rebounded the miss and following two misses by the Wildcats on the other end, St. Marys had the last shot when Dieringer drive toward the basket from the right side, fed the ball to Caywood who shot over Alexanderia Renner, but the ball just missed the inside of the rim to force overtime.

Trailing 42-44 after Madelyn Renner’s bucket, Ally Will drove to the basket and laid the ball in to tie the game with 50.5 seconds left in OT.

Chandler Clark connected on 1-of-2 free throws with 18.4 seconds left to give Bath a 45-44 lead when Will drove to the basket, attempted a shot and had it glance off the rim to the awaiting arms of Noelle Ruane and Ruby Bolon, but Bolon ripped the ball away as time expired. 

“Ally was getting to the rim really well tonight so we were trying to give her an opportunity to get some separation and go to the hoop,” Burke said. “She got stuck on her left hand, but really, she got into the paint and had a chance and that’s all we could have hoped for.”

The last two games between the teams have ended in overtime with last year’s match ending in a 46-44 loss at Bath. The Wildcats have won the last three games after St. Marys had won the previous two and it is likely the two schools could meet each other again in a district semifinal.

“If the layup at the end of regulation goes in, we win the game, but it’s not one play that wins or loses games,” Burke said. “I would like to see these guys again in the tournament. We weren’t going to win league by winning this game, but hopefully we can take care of business and if they take care of theirs, we are going to see other again. And it is going to be a fight, just like this one.”

And just as their rivalry has shown in recent history, both teams again went back and forth as Thursday’s thriller consisted of 12 lead changes. 

Thursday’s game was the last home for the seniors Will and Caywood. The other leader, senior Lauren Cisco, was out because of illness. 

Caywood finished with 12 points and Will tallied six as the two have played a major part in the Roughriders’ successful season.