The girls varsity basketball team traveled to Trent Arena last night for a rematch with their crosstown rivals, the Fairmont Firebirds. The girls knew the Firebirds would be looking for revenge after suffering a 70-47 knockout at Centerville High School in early December and would be a different team and they were right out of the gate.
The game could not have started off much worse for the Elks or better for the Firebirds depending on which team you support. Everything that could go right for Fairmont did as they scored at will from inside and out. Everything that could go wrong for the Elks did as they could not hit a shot, committed several fouls and turned the ball over a few times as well. The result was a 17-0 lead for the Firebirds with two minutes left in the first quarter. A baseline basket by freshman Cotie McMahon got the Elks going and they countered the Firebirds with a 9-0 run to end the first quarter to cut the lead from 17 to 8 heading to the second quarter. The second quarter was an even draw as both teams scored 11 points giving the Firebirds a 28-20 lead heading into the locker room at halftime. In the third quarter, the Firebirds built their lead to 13 late in the third quarter before the Elks went on an 8-0 run to end the quarter. As a result, the Firebirds took a 37-32 lead to the final eight minutes. The fourth quarter was one the large crowd at Trent Arena will not soon forget. The Elks scored first to pull within three at 37-34, but the Firebirds answered with three of their own to go up 40-34. After several empty possessions by both teams, the Elks inched closer with a McMahon three-point play to pull within three at 40-37 only to see the Firebirds hit two free throws to go back up by five at 42-37. A huge three from senior Sam Chable pulled the Elks within two at 42-40 and then McMahon scored inside with 1:30 left to tie the game at 42. After a Firebird basket, Chable hit a runner on the baseline to tie it back up at 44 with under a minute left. The Firebirds would convert two more free throws to go back up by two before Chable missed a three with 12 seconds left, but was fouled after the shot to give the ball back to the Elks following a timeout. The Elks missed a short shot in the lane, but McMahon got excellent position inside and drew an over the back foul with six seconds left giving the Elks a third chance to tie or take the lead. The old adage of “the third time’s a charm” rang true once again. The Elks inbounded the ball on the sideline and swung it to the top of the key with two passes where sophomore point guard Amy Velasco caught it and launched a three. The ball splashed through the net with 2.3 seconds left setting off a wild celebration on the Elks sideline and in the bleachers behind their bench. However, the Firebirds had one last chance. A perfect inbounds pass gave them a shot at a long three which was wide and the Lady Elks had completed a comeback from 17 points down to stun the Firebirds, 47-46, and remain perfect in NL East play while clinching at least a tie for the division title.
The Elks were led by Cotie McMahon with 17 and Sam Chable with 12.
In the first game of the night, the freshman team remained undefeated with a 57-9 win over the Firebirds. In the middle game of the night, the JV team also beat the Firebirds, 48-23.
Now 19-1 on the year and 10-0 in GWOC play, the Elks continue their brutal three-game stretch to end the season by traveling to Beavercreek High School on Wednesday night to take on the Beavers. The freshman game tips at 4:30, the JV at 6:00 and the varsity at 7:30.