TROY — The girls high school basketball team of Legacy Christian Academy never seemed to get comfortable offensively, in Thursday’s Feb. 8 overtime loss to host Troy Christian.
“Yeah, and they had a lot to do with that,” Knights coach Mark Combs said of the host Eagles. “We knew we would have to shoot the ball well. That’s how we’re built. (Troy Christian) deserves a lot of credit. Their length bothered us at times out on the perimeter, and I really think the major difference was that they were just so much more physical than we were.”
“They got offensive rebounds off of free throws, they pushed and shoved, they got to the backboard. I just didn’t think our kids responded physically to the way the game went, and we’ve just got to do a better job of that.”
Lauryn Lavy scored a game-high 17 points, including four of the Eagles’ five points in the overtime period to earn Troy Christian a share of the Metro Buckeye Conference title with the 42-39 win. Kenley Blake was also instrumental in TC’s win with eight points, and six of those were in the second half while she was lugging around four fouls.
“We knew we were going up against an excellent team. Anyone who’s 18-2 playing for a championship, you know how good they are,” Troy Christian coach Anthony Ferraro said of LCA. His Eagles entered the game with the same 18-2 record, but trailed the Knights by one game in the league race.”
With two minutes left in the game and the two teams knotted up at 39 each, Ferraro called a play to put the ball in Lavy’s hands.
“Understand that Lauryn is shooting 85 percent from the foul line for the year. She’s just incredible,” Ferraro said. “One time this year, she had made 26 in a row. So on our last play, when I called our timeout, the call was ‘hand the ball to Lauryn, and make them foul her,’ because I knew that she was going to come through.”
Maddy Combs led the Knights with 11 points scored, Emily Riddle finished with nine, and team scoring leader Emma Hess finished with eight.
Hess drained an NBA-range three-point shot from just off the left of the arc to tie the game at 37-all with seven seconds left in regulation. That long-range bomb sent the game to overtime.
“She’s an amazing player,” Ferraro said of Hess, who leads the MBC in scoring average with 14.6 points per game. “That three was from Stephen Curry range!”
Both teams posed with the league championship trophy after the game and, customary for both Christian schools’ games, both circled together at center court for a post-game prayer. Legacy Christian took the MBC trophy home with them, but a duplicate trophy will be made and sent to Troy Christian.
“We’ve had excellent performances from everybody on this team. Tonight it was just about them being so much more physical than we were,” Combs said.
There’s some discrepancy with the Metro Buckeye Conference website and that of the Greater Western Ohio Conference. According to the MBC site, Legacy’s next game is a nonleague contest with neighbor Xenia at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10 at Legacy Christian. But according to the GWOC schedule, Xenia is set to play division foe Fairborn on Saturday (an 11:30 a.m. game at Fairborn’s Baker Middle School). The Buccaneers schedule lists the Xenia-LCA matchup as a 7 p.m. contest on Monday, Feb. 12.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.