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Lady Flyers drop heartbreaker as upset bid falls just short

St. Joseph Lady Flyers’ point guard Kaitlyn Sheridan (3) drives past a New Boston defender during Saturday’s Division 4 sectional title game. The Lady Flyers lost a 33-32 heartbreaker to favored Lady Tigers. (Kent Sanborn of SouthernOhioSportsPhotos.com)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

McDERMOTT — So that’s what they mean by “that’s the way the ball bounces.”
The basketball could have rolled in or out. Unfortunately, it chose to roll the wrong way for the St. Joseph Lady Flyers.
A last-season shot rolled out and New Boston survived an upset bid by the Lady Flyers as the Lady Tigers escaped with a 33-32 win on Saturday in the Division 4 sectional finals.
St. Joseph tied the game 30-30 with 3:25 to play and then New Boston took a 33-32 lead with 1:25 lead.
New Boston missed a one-and-one, got the rebound but missed another one-and-one and the Lady Flyers got the rebound.
St. Joseph had the ball with 3.2 seconds to play but Bella Whaley’s shot rolled around the rim and came out.
“I’m so proud of how hard these girls practiced this week and played today. They fought until the end and we had chances to take the lead or win the game on our last few possessions,” said Lady Flyers’ coach Bart Burcham.
“Even when we got down eight, these girls didn’t quit and fought back and tied it. These girls have changed the culture and perception of Lady Flyers basketball and our future teams have standards to meet and try to raise the bar even higher.”
In the first quarter, Lexus Oiler hit a 3-pointer and scored 7 points and Kenzie Whitley had 4 points as New Boston took a 13-6 lead.
Emma Whaley drained a pair of 3-pointers for the Lady Flyers.
Each team scored 8 points in the second quarter with Whitley getting 4 points and Sammy Oiler a 3-pointer for the Lady Tigers.
Bella Whaley hit a 3-pointer and scored 5 points while Mahlmeister got 3 points to account for the Lady Flyers scoring in the second quarter.
The Lady Tigers extended their lead to 30-22 in the third quarter as Lexus Oiler hit a 3-pointer and scored 5 points.
Bella Whaley knocked down a trifecta, Mahlmeister had a basket and Chloe Sheridan a foul shot as St. Joseph managed just 6 points in the quarter.
But the Lady Flyers’ defense shut down New Boston in the fourth quarter by holding the Lady Tigers to just 3 points.
Bella Whaley and Mahlmeister combined for all 10 of the Lady Flyers points in the fourth quarter.
Bella Whaley had 14 points and 9 rebounds while Mahlmeister got 11 points and 9 rebounds to pace the Lady Flyers (11-12). Point guard Kaitlyn Sheridan had 8 rebounds and Gracie Damron grabbed 5.
“I want to thank Faith Mahlmeister and Kaitlyn Sheridan for leading this team for two years and especially today. We will learn from this and we will keep getting better,” said Burcham.
Lexus Oiler scored 15 points and Whitley added 10 points for New Boston (18-6).
St. Joseph 8 8 6 10 = 32
New Boston 13 8 9 3 = 33
ST. JOSEPH (11-12): Kaitlyn Sheridan 0 0 0-0 0, Faith Mahlmeister 5 0 1-2 11, Emma Whaley 0 2 0-0 6, Bella Whaley 4 2 0-1 14, Chloe Sheridan 0 0 1-2 1, Gracie Damron 0 0 0-0 0, Aubrey Sutton 0 0 0-0 0, Kerri Jenkins 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 9 6 2-5 32. Rebounds: 34 (Mahlmeister 9, B. Whaley 9, K. Sheridan 8, Damron 5, E. Whaley 2, C. Sheridan 1). Assists: 7 (K. Sheridan 3, B. Whaley 2). Turnovers: 12. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.
NEW BOSTON (18-6): Shelby Easter 1 0 0-0 2, Tayler Hickman 0 0 0-2 0, Lexus Oiler 3 3 0-0 15, Sammy Oiler 1 1 0-0 5, Dylan O’Rourke 0 0 1-2 1, Kenzie Whitley 4 0 2-2 10, Caden Williams 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 9 4 3-6 33. Fouls: 5. Fouled out: None.