It took two comebacks, but Cardington was able to outlast Northmor in a Saturday afternoon road Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference basketball game by a 57-54 margin in overtime.
The Knights led 44-34 in the fourth quarter, but the Pirates battled back to send the game to an extra session tied at 48. In overtime, Northmor opened up a 54-50 advantage, but couldn’t score in the final 2:16, as Cardington battled back to win by three.
Despite claiming the win, Cardington coach Jamie Edwards, who had watched his team defeat Northmor by 36 at home early in the season, was not happy with his players’ shooting performance.
“That says it all — we were 4-of-22 from three, which is just like Elgin (Cardington’s lone league loss),” he said. “Free throws, we were 19-of-31 and missed about every free throw at the end of the third and in the fourth. Inside, we were doing high-low, high-low and getting short miss after short miss.”
Those issues were deadly for Cardington in the third quarter. The Pirates led 23-19 after a first half in which they led most of the way, but couldn’t pull away. They then took a 30-25 advantage with 3:23 remaining in the third after a bucket by Casey Bertke. However, they would only muster a Kyndall Spires basket after that mark, as Northmor went on a 14-2 run to take a seven-point lead into the fourth.
Karalee Patterson started the run with a three-pointer and Lydia Farley, Becca Duckworth and Maddie Swihart all added shots to put the Knights in front 35-30. Spires’ shot got Cardington within two, but Northmor finished the quarter with back-to-back shots from Farley and Swihart to lead by seven with eight minutes remaining in regulation.
“(During halftime) I first said we’re only down four, so I thought if we hit a couple shots,” said Northmor coach Daryl Uhde. “Nothing special, just go out and play as hard as we did in the first half. If we shot better, played defense and boxed out, we’d get back.”
Cardington was able to get to the foul line early in the third quarter, but struggled making those shots, allowing the Knights to expand their lead to 10 points behind a pair of buckets by Patterson. However, at the six-minute mark, they started to claw back into the game.
Sage Brannon hit one-of-two from the line, Spires followed with a basket and Brannon then added a three-pointer to make the score 44-40. Swihart hit a pair of foul shots for the Knights, but Alex Maceyko came back with a three-pointer to make it a three-point game.
Brooke Bennett responded by two free throws with 3:08 remaining, but the Knights would not score again in regulation. During that time, Cardington went to the hoop and drew four fouls, hitting 5-of-8 free throws to send the game to overtime.
Brannon hit a pair of free throws early in the extra session to give Cardington a 50-48 lead, but Northmor battled back with two Duckworth foul shots, as well as baskets by Patterson and Farley, to go up by four with 2:17 to play.
Once again, Northmor suffered through an untimely drought, hitting no shots from the field and missing four free throws down the stretch. This time, the Pirates were able to make them pay. Baskets by Brannon and Spires tied the game with 26 seconds to play.
Then, with under five seconds on the clock, Paige Clinger hit a basket, drew a foul and sunk the free throw to give her team a three-point lead. A last-second Patterson three attempt went in-and-out of the hoop and Cardington was able to escape with the win.
After it was over, on one hand, Uhde was happy with his team’s performance in nearly beating a team that had dominated them earlier in the year. On the other, he felt his players had let a win slip through their fingers.
“We can’t play any harder,” he said. “We had three girls foul out and still had the lead with a minute to go against Cardington. Who would have bet on that? It’s hard to get too upset because they played hard, but we threw bad passes and would have won if we made free throws. It’s a sad way to end a great game.”
For the Knights, both Swihart and Patterson finished with 14, while Duckworth, whom Uhde praised for her effort off the bench while other players were saddled with foul trouble, tallied nine. Cardington got 18 from Spires and 16 from Brannon.
For the Pirates, Edwards simply noted that other teams are making defensive game-plans for his squad, which they have to learn to play through. Cardington was held to 48 in regulation, making it three straight games the high-scoring Pirates have been held to under 50 over a 32-minute span.
“Teams don’t man us anymore,” said the coach. “They make us work it. We got the shots, but just missed point-blank ones and missed threes. Another thing; we have one of the best scorers in the conference (guard Kynlee Edwards) and she was scoreless from the field. Everyone else stepped up — it’s one of those confidence things.”