Beavers banish Bobcats

LISBON — In the darkness and unsteady waters which can happen at crunch time of a game, Beaver Local’s Madison Ours stepped up to shine like a beacon off the bay.

Trailing upset-minded Cambridge 44-42 in a frantic closing minute, Ours drilled a deep three-pointer from the left corner with 40 seconds left to lift the Beavers to a resounding 45-44 triumph over the Bobcats in a Division II sectional girls’ basketball tournament contest Monday night at Beaver Local High School.

“We wanted an inside shot and I don’t know what was going through my head, but I was open and I said, hey, why not,” beamed Ours of taking the shot. “Usually you can tell (if a shot’s going in) but this one I couldn’t tell, I thought it was going to smack off the backboard and when it went in, I was so excited.”

For Ours, the game-winning trey was her only points of the game, but those three markers were golden.

“Maddie Ours, I’d say in our last five games has really brought her game on,” said Beaver Local head coach Stephanie Coie. “She’s handled the ball really well and made great passes for us and has hit key baskets. She’s played really, really well.”

The win vaults the Beavers (14-8) into Wednesday night’s Division II sectional game at No. 3 seed Zanesville Maysville at 7 p.m.

Cambridge bows out with a 7-16 record.

Beaver Local junior standout Jenna Riccardo, the school’s all-time leading scorer, had a big second half to lead the Beavers with 21 points, with 17 coming after intermission. Elizabeth Kolkowski added 10 points for the Beavers.

“When Jenna gets going she helps us with the flow of the game and getting us going offensively,” said Coie.

The loss spoiled an outstanding effort by Cambridge guard Taylar Slaughter who had a tremendous game to lead all scorers with 30 points. Ziciah Gibson and Alexis Wilkinson finished with five points each for the Bobcats.

“We were down to six kids tonight because of injury but they really played their hearts out,” said Cambridge head coach Dan Linscott. “We didn’t always execute everything we wanted to but just the effort was phenomenal. “She (Slaughter) can really fill it up and I’m proud of her as well as the rest of the Lady Cats.”

The two teams battled to an 8-8 standoff after Slaughter drilled the first of her five three-pointers on the night at first-quarter buzzer.

The smaller Bobcats were successful in denying the taller Beaver Local team much inside the paint in the second quarter and Cambridge outscored the hosts 11-6 in the frame to take a 19-14 lead at halftime.

Cambridge tthen ook its largest lead of the game at eight points (32-24) with 3:40 showing in the third quarter.

“I think in the first half we weren’t ready to play, but in the second half we realized that we had to get it going,” said Ours. “It was like, this is our whole season and we’ve got to pick it up or we’re not going to go on.”

“We didn’t have the intensity that we typically have defensively,” said Coie. “Late in the second half we did, but typically we rely on our defense to help us on offense and we just didn’t have that intensity in the first half. “The kids talked it out at halftime, they knew what they had to do. They did a good job coming back.”

Beaver Local began to crank up its intensity midway through the third quarter of the game, extending its defense while forcing some Cambridge turnovers. The Beavers took their first lead since the first quarter when Jensen Britt hit a fielder and the Beavers took a 33-32 advantage with 1:35 left in the third period. The hosts went on to lead 35-34 after three.

The Beavers went out to a three-point (38-35) lead with 7:20 remaining in the game but Cambridge caught and passed Beaver Local when Slaughter drained two free throws, giving the Bobcats a 40-38 advantage with 4:44 remaining and upped its lead to four points (42-38) following a hoop by Slaughter at the 4:00 mark. But the Beavers’ pressure defense held the Bobcats to just two points over the final four minutes while outscoring the visitors 4-0 to trail just 44-42 and setting up Ours’ game-winner with 40 seconds left.

Cambridge had a crucial traveling violation with just four seconds remaining, giving the ball back to Beaver Local which then closed out the win.

“It was an ugly win but it was a win nontheless,” said Coie. “We’ll take it — survive and advance the tournament trap.”

“It was a great game to watch and both teams had a chance to win,” said Cambridge’s Linscott. “Congratulations to Beaver Local for the 4A OVAC championship, we won it last year and now they’ve won it this year.”

Coie talked about the Beavers’ next sectional opponent in Maysville.

“I have not seen them and we didn’t scrimmage them, we are in the process of getting some film on them to prepare,” she said.

CAMBRIDGE: 8-11-15-10-44

BEAVER LOCAL: 8-06-21-10-45

CAMBRIDGE SCORING: Taylar Slaughter 8-9-30, Allyssa Ball 0-4-4, Miranda Hill 0-0-0, Ziciah Gibson 1-3-5, Alexis Wilkinson 1-3-5, Marissa DuBeck 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 10 19-27 44.

BEAVER LOCAL SCORING: Riley Britt 1-0-2, Jensen Britt 2-0-4, Sydnie Holden 0-0-0, Chansyn Hoppel 1-0-2, Madison Ours 1-0-3, Brooke Briggs 0-0-0, Elizabeth Kolkowski 4-2-10, Jenna Riccardo 8-5-21, Leah Riccardo 1-0-2. TEAM TOTALS: 18 7-17 45.

Three-point goals: Cambridge 5 (Taylar Slaughter 5). Beaver Local 2 (Madison Ours 1, Riley Britt).