TROY — The Legacy Christian and Cedarville girls high school basketball teams met different outcomes in their respective Division IV district championship games, held back-to-back March 2 at Troy High School.
In the morning opener, underdog Cedarville met up with D-IV regular season state-ranked No. 1 Fort Loramie, and the Redskins showed why they are considered one of the favorites to win the state title this season.
Fort Loramie (24-1) gave up a strong game-best 16-point effort to Indians scoring leader Maggie Coe, but the Redskins held the rest of the Cedarville team to five, in a 49-21 win.
“Number 30 (Coe) is a great player, and I think Kennedi Gephart, Caitlyn Gasson and Colleen Brandewie did a great job defending her today. And the rest of the team had to stop the rest of their team,” Fort Loramie coach Carla Siegel said.
A pair of first-quarter free throws from Maggie’s younger sis, sophomore Elly Coe, and a third-quarter 3-pointer by Ciara Horney, were Cedarville’s other scores.
“Their depth is incredible,” Cedarville coach Josh Mason said. “Like I told the girls when we went into the lockerroom, there’s a good chance we just lost to the state champion. I think everybody in this gym knows that, and I think they know that.
“When you have a team that’s nine players deep and you can sub like that, it’s just tough to do anything against them.”
Mason was moved to tears when talking about his Cedarville seniors Sydney Wright, Kaylee Cyphers, Ruby Stack and especially Maggie Coe.
“I think her as a person, she’s one of the best people I’ve ever met,” Mason said, fighting back tears. “And, …. um, she’ll really be missed by the whole team.”
Kenzie Hoelscher led the Redskins with 14 points.
In the Legacy win, the Knights (24-2) fell behind 5-0 before gaining their confidence and realizing they could play with Franklin Monroe. Senior Danielle Matthews became an inside scoring presence in the first half, and that seemed to open the LCA offense for everyone else in a 49-34 win.
“It’s my team’s dribbling abilities,” Matthews said, deflecting credit with a smile. “I’m just the girl with the leg brace, nobody worries about me. So my teammates would just get past the defense, get the ball to me, and I’d put it up.”
Emma Hess led the Knights with 18 points scored, Emily Riddle finished with 12, Matthews was next with eight and Margaret Kensinger added six. Kathleen Ahner and Katie Leach scored three and two points respectively.
“We really tried to get the ball inside, instead of relying on our outside shooting today, and it really worked for us,” Hess said. “This feels great, especially with this team. We played great.”
Franklin Monroe junior Corina Conley led the Lady Jets (17-6) with 16 points.
LCA coach Mark Combs said the team showed some nerves early, but quickly regouped.
“You’ve gotta kinda get over that first hurdle of realizing where you are. I tried to tell them to relax. … but once they settled in, we really did a good job,” Combs said. “(Matthews) was such a key for us. We always need her for rebounding, but today she found some offense. We were hoping Danielle could score for us today, and she did. That was a big lift for us.”
Legacy now gets its turn against the state’s No. 1 Fort Loramie Redskins. That game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start on Thursday March 7 at Vandalia Butler High School. The winner will take on either the state’s No. 2 team Minster or No.3-ranked Tri-Village for the regional title.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.