By John Bombatch
MONROE — The last time Cedarville had won a girls sectional basketball tournament, the team’s current scorekeeper — Terri (Flauher) Connolly — was dealing out assists and winning ball games.
That was 28 years ago.
Connolly, who still holds the school’s single-season assists record, was keeping score Saturday when the Indians defeated Middletown Christian, 64-38, to lay claim to the school’s first girls basketball sectional crown since 1988.
Ronald Reagan was our nation’s President back then, and obviously, none of the Cedarville kids had even been born.
After the game, Cedarville coach Chad Mason was all smiles.
“This last happened for us in 1988. I just finished telling the girls that in the locker room,” Mason said. “It’s been almost 30 years and it feels pretty good. I’m very happy for them.”
Mason said the team broke the record for most wins in a season by winning the 20th game in a season, for the first time ever, last week. The previous mark had been set at 19 by that same 1988 team.
“So now we have no. 21 and these girls are going to districts, something that hasn’t happened in their lifetime. And these girls, … they really deserve it,” he added.
Mason couldn’t chat for very long. He was heading over to Brookville High School to scout the sectional title game that was happening over there between South Charleston Southeastern and Miamisburg Miami Valley. The winner would be Cedarville’s next opponent.
Miami Valley needed overtime to defeat Southeastern, 54-48. They’ll now play Cedarville (21-3) at 11 a.m. Saturday at Tipp City Tippecanoe High School.
Izzy Bolender led the way for the Indians. She scored a game-high 27 points, 18 of which was scored in the first half. Hayley Melton was the other Cedarville player to get into double figures in scoring. She finished with 16. Kaylee Cyphers (six points), McKayla Lee and Kyla Harding (four each), Celeste Rucker (three), Gabby Peyton and Maggie Coe (two each) combined to score the Indians’ other 21 points.
Cedarville never trailed.
The Indians had jumped out to a 9-2 lead before Middletown Christian could score from somewhere other than the free throw line. Cedarville led 15-5 after one quarter of play and simply pulled away from there.
Eagles Makenzie Tolson, daughter of MCS coach Brent Tolson, finished with 16 points as did Aubriana Bellard.
Tolson and fellow seniors Karli Besl, Brooke Richardson and Sarah Kelhoffer all played their final games for Middletown Christian.