By John Bombatch
CEDARVILLE —Moments after Cedarville’s 56-28 win over North Lewisburg Triad, the Indians team went missing.
They weren’t hanging out in the gym receiving accolades from their fans and family.
They weren’t in the team’s locker room.
The sweat still hadn’t dried on the Cedarville players’ uniforms, yet coach Chad Mason had his girls in the film room studying their next opponent — Springfield Northeastern!
It was also a time for Mason to own up to a mistake he’d made in the scorebook. He’d listed junior Hayley Melton’s number in the scorebook, but inadvertently listed the name of a Cedarville junior varsity player in the space where Melton’s name should’ve been.
Mason wasn’t sure whether or not there would be a penalty for his error, and so he called the game officials together to make sure.
“We knew the book was wrong (when it was discovered during the halftime break), but we didn’t know what the penalty would be,” Mason explained after Thursday’s film session. “The officials gave me the ‘OK.’ They said we were alright, because we had the number right. So I sent Hayley into the game.”
Triad had whittled Cedarville’s commanding 30-18 halftime lead down to nine points with a 1:17 to go in the third period when Mason called the refs together, and ultimately sent Melton back into the game.
“Hayley scored, got a rebound at the other end, and scored. The lead went from nine points to 13 just like that,” Melton said. “And that’s what we talked about with the girls. Hayley makes such a big impact offensively and defensively. At that point, I got my top five players back and the game was over.”
Cedarville closed out the third with a 7-0 run. They then outscored Triad 14-2 in the final quarter to seal the win.
Ise (pronounced Izzy) Bolender led the Indians with 17 points, Maggie Coe was next with 14, and Melton finished with nine (seven of which came in the second half).
Triad’s Jenna Ober tossed in a game-high 20 points of the Cardinals’ 28-point total. She needs just five points in the Cards’ Monday game at Greeneview to reach the 1,000-point mark in her career. Triad is now 5-15, 2-11 in the Ohio Heritage Conference.
The game with Greeneview was originally scheduled for Saturday, but due to a conflict (Greeneview’s boys are hosting Anna at 7:30 p.m. that night) the Rams moved the game to 7:30 p.m. Monday.
“We don’t have a lot of bench strength, or a lot of experience. We just ran outta gas,” Triad coach Jason Malone explained. “We got tired, started missing bunny shots that we’d normally make, started giving up some turnovers and that was that. The wheels fell off, but that’s a very good Cedarville team as well. Bolender, Coe and Melton are some of the league’s best around.”
Cedarville’s Mason said he’s preached about having players own up to their mistakes. And so the veteran coach set the example after Thursday’s game, and owned up to his minor scorebook error.
“We’ve said all season long that ‘If you mess up, own it.’ But I told the girls that I did not mess up on purpose in order to go along with the theme,” Mason said. “I’ve been doing this way too long to mess up a book like that. I owned up to it. That was an amateurish mistake that I hold myself accountable for.”
Cedarville (18-3, 10-3 in the Ohio Heritage Conference) will host Northeastern at 2:30 p.m., Saturday.
John Bombatch can be reached at (937) 372-4444, Ext. 2123.