WOOSTER – The “Cardiac Chipps” glossing the front of Doylestown Chippewa’s girls basketball team’s T-shirts refers to playing with heart. On Wednesday night, the slogan took on a more familiar meaning.
Trailing by seven points late in the third quarter, and three with 90 seconds left in overtime, the Chipps made just enough plays to escape with a 52-49 victory over rival Norwayne in the second of two Division III sectional championship games at Triway High School’s “Pit.”
Chippewa (16-5) advances to play Canton Central Catholic in a district semifinal next Thursday. Central Catholic defeated Smithville 44-38 in the first game of the double-header. Norwayne finishes 16-6.
“It’s more like when we start getting down or forget how to play together, Mr. Pease always tells us to play with heart,” Chippewa senior Chelsea Fazekas said referring to Chipps coach Ken Pease. “I think that’s the best halftime speech he gives us, is to play with heart.”
The Chipps played with their hearts, and stopped everyone else’s. After watching a four-point lead evaporate over the final 47 seconds of regulation, they twice fell behind in overtime, including 47-44 with 1:37 left.
It was at that point that junior guard Amanda Holbert made the game’s biggest play. After Fazekas missed an 8-footer on the baseline, Holbert corralled the weak-side rebound, put it in and was fouled. She completed the three-point play to tie the score.
“If the ball bounces right …” Norwayne coach Frank Pilsitz said, not finishing the thought. “Not taking anything away from Chippewa, but there’s rebound there, it rolls down our arms right into a girl who lays it up and in when we had a three-point lead.”
Norwayne failed to score on its next possession and Fazekas converted another three-point play for the last of her game-high 27 point and a 50-47 lead with 28 seconds left.
The Bobcats got two of the three points back when Ashley Wallace, who played a stellar game, made a lay-up at the other end with 12 seconds left. Wallace finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, despite spending much of the game battling with Fazekas, who had to work for everything she got.
Needing to foul, the Bobcats sent Chipps senior point guard Kay Young to the line. Young, who had one of her lowest scoring games of the year with seven points, was just 3 for 8 at the line prior to the final trip. She made both when they counted most.
Norwayne had a desperation 3-pointer from about 5 feet beyond the arc go a bit long and Chippewa escaped with the win.
“I think we’re very evenly matched,” Pilsitz said of the teams. “I just hate to see it end.
I told (my players), ‘When you leave here, don’t walk out of here with your heads down, walk out with a lot of pride.’”
The see-saw match-up saw neither team lead by more than four points before the Bobcats went on an 11-0 third quarter run gave them a 30-23 lead Chippewa fought back from that one, tying the game on a Fazekas put-back with 3:20 left and taking the lead on another offensive rebound, this one by Katelyn Earnest (7 points, 9 rebounds).
Another Fazekas bucket made it 37-33 with 3:00 left. It stayed that way for more than two minutes. Wallace scored to cut the lead in half, but Holbert made a pair of foul shots to push it back to a four-point lead.
The final 47 seconds were a foul shooting contest. Norwayne made 4 of 5, Chippewa made 2 of 4. A driving lay-up by the Bobcats Molly Hanzie tied the game with 10 seconds left.
Chippewa’s Morgan Smith had a good look at a 22-footer, which just missed its mark as time expired in regulation.
That Chippewa was around at the end was somewhat amazing, given that Young spent large chunks of regulation on the bench in foul trouble. The senior point guard attempted just one official field goal and had three assists.
In her absence, Liz Broome and Emily Steele came up big. Neither scored, but they played defense and held the fort while Young was out of the game.
“For being so young they did really well in the clutch situation,” Fazekas said. “He put them in when we needed good defenders and fast people in those situations.”
The loss spoiled a nice night by Norwayne’s Courtney Kent, who finished with 12 points, making 3-of-7 3-pointers. Her teammates were just 1 for 19 from beyond the arc, which went a long way toward explaining the outcome.
Molly Hanzie added 10 points and four assists for the Bobcats. Twin sister Megan Hanzie had eight points. Senior Naomi Rupp had five assists.
The second game outdid the first in excitement, but not in magnitude. Canton Central Catholic, seeded seventh, upset top-seeded Smithville behind 16 points from MacKenzie Smith and nine from Chelsea Andorka.
Central Catholic (16-6) led by as many as 11 points late in the third quarter, but the Smithies (19-2) rallied, pulling within three. They had a potential tying 3-pointer misfire with 2½ minutes left, but couldn’t get closer. The Crusaders made 11 of 16 fourth-quarter free throws to keep Smithville at bay.
Jessica Pew paced Smithville with 17 points.