Circleville junior Amanda Wade hit a reverse layup with 22 seconds remaining in a non-league contest, sending visiting Cirlcleville past the Chillicothe Lady Cavaliers 42-40.
Brad Morris was on hand and has more.
CHILLICOTHE – The holiday season is a perfect time for a prayer.
And in the case of Circleville junior Amanda Wade, her prayer was answered Thursday.
Wade hit a reverse layup with 22 seconds remaining in a non-league contest, sending the visiting Lady Tigers past the Chillicothe Lady Cavaliers 42-40.
“Abbey Palmer passed me the ball and I knew I needed to shoot and make the shot,” Wade said. “I threw up a shot, saw it hit high off the glass and said a prayer for it to go in. It was awesome to see the ball go through the hoop.”
Palmer paced Circleville with 12 points – all coming on three balls. Liz Scudder scored nine points, and Megan White hauled in eight points, seven rebounds and blocked four shots.
If Circleville (9-1) and Chillicothe (7-1) fans felt a case of deja vu in the pit of their stomachs, the feeling wasn't far off. In last year's contest at Circleville, Casse Mogan hit a jumper at the buzzer to defeat Chillicothe.
And just like last year, the triangle-and-one Chillicothe ran against Mogan and the Lady Tigers worked, as they limited the Circleville senior to five shots and five points.
“They ran the trangle-and-one like they did last year and did a good job against Casse,” Circleville coach Steve Kalinoski said. “The nice thing was we had some different girls step up for us to help fill-in the gap.
“Abbey made some big three-pointers, Scudder hit a big three and Megan White did a good job inside. We challenged our inside players, because we know they're a good team and our inside players responded.”
Megan Lee, who led Chillicothe with 22 points and 10 rebounds, was forced to miss the second quarter due to having three fouls.
The rest didn't hurt her stroke.
Entering the fourth period down 29-26 to Circleville, Megan Lee hit for 12 points and gathered five rebounds, pushing Chillicothe ahead of Circleville 40-34 with 1:43 remaining.
“She's a player,” Chillicothe coach Amy Hughes said. “She hit some nice shots for us and she wanted them.”
Scudder began an 8-0 Circleville run to close the game by hitting a three-pointer on the following possession. Circleville then regained control of the basketball by forcing a 10-second call against Chillicothe.
“We jumped into our press and then backed off a little bit,” Kalinoski said. “To get the 10-second call there was huge. It meant we didn't have to foul and put them at the line.”
The Lady Tigers made use of its defensive hustle with Palmer hitting her final three-pointer of the night to tie the game.
“I just had a good feeling shooting the ball, I guess,” Palmer said. “When I hit my first shot and then the second shot, my confidence just continued to build.”
Following a scoreless possession from Chillicothe, Palmer hit Wade on a backdoor pass, which Wade stuck in on a reverse layup to put Circleville ahead for good.
Circleville held Chillicothe on its last pair of possessions to claim the win.
Both schools return to league competition the next time they hit the hardwood.
Chillicothe travels to Portsmouth Saturday for a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League contest. Circleville is off until a week from today, when they host Bloom-Carroll.