Carly Comeback Rallies Lady Red To Title

By Dan Woodlock
Times-Junction Sports Editor

There's no coincidence that an O and a T are at the center of Santoro.

Because Santoro was at the center of things in OT and throughout the evening in Monday night's Northern Ohio League girls basketball championship game in Willard.

Bellevue senior Carly Santoro scored seven of the Lady Red's nine points in the extra session and topped all players with 30 points, as she helped rally BHS back from as much as a 16-point deficit to claim the ouright NOL crown, 64-60, at the Robert L. Haas Gymnasium.

Jenna Strayer overcame a rough shooting night (5-of-19) to score 11 of her 16 points in the second half and Shelby Stamm tallied all 11 of her points in the third and fourth periods, sparking a 42-24 stretch for the Lady Red over the final 20 minutes of play.

Hannah Adams broke out on Senior Night with Willard team-highs of 20 points, 10 rebounds and three steals, while fellow seniors Hunter Feltner (11 points) and Hannah Schloemer (two points, eight rebounds) gave strong efforts on a night in which they were honored for their career contributions.

Adams scored 14 of her points in the first half, marking the differential at the half. The Lady Flashes (17-3, 9-2) held a 13-9 lead after one and took that up to as much as 16 (36-20), before settling in at 36-22 at the break.

Maggie King added 13 points, six rebounds and five assists in the loss, tallying seven of her points from the free throw line, including two with just 11.2 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime, at 55-55.

After holding Bellevue (21-1, 12-0) to just 25 percent shooting through two (7-of-28), and outscoring the Lady Red, 23-13, in the second quarter, Willard came out of the locker room struggling offensively, missing three shots around the basket and losing Strayer for a three-point field goal in the first 56 seconds of play.

Missed lay-ups took their toll on Willard, which entered the game landing over 51 percent from two-point range, but connected on just 36 percent (16-of-44) from inside, adding to a game in which the team finished at 32 percent overall from the field (20-of-63).

The Lady Flashes missed all six of their field goal attempts in overtime.

"We missed way too many lay-ups," said Willard Head Coach Jon Dawson. "Opportunities were there, but we struggled to score in the post tonight, especially in the second half."

Post CeCe King (three points, nine rebounds) was lost for the game at the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter due to injury and guard Madie Secor (eight first half points) was limited in the second half, as well.

Bellevue led, 2-0, when a Tara Rinner shot went into the basket, despite being blocked by Feltner. The Lady Red would not lead again until Santoro sank a pair of free throws with 29.2 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, opening a 55-53 edge. She converted 11-of-15 from the line, including 3-of-4 in overtime.

Conversely, the Lady Flashes missed five of their 10 free throws in OT.

"We had a good rotation going early," said Dawson. "With seven kids, you need to keep fresh bodies in there against a team like Bellevue. Unfortunately, when they started to come back, we lost two of our kids, in CeCe and Madie, who is battling with a head injury."

The Lady Flashes won the rebounding battle, 47-32, but committed five more turnovers than the Lady Red (20-15), with eight coming in the third quarter.

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