Versailles girls fall just short of state basketball title

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Versailles girls fall just short of state basketball title

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Versailles junior guard Kami McEldowney shoots during the Division III state championship game on Saturday at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center in Columbus. BRYANT BILLING / CONTRIBUTED

Gilmour Academy used a big run in the fourth quarter of the Division III girls basketball state championship game on Saturday to beat Versailles. The Tigers made two late baskets, but they couldn’t complete the comeback and fell 56-54 at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center.

Versailles led 26-23 at halftime and was tied with Gilmour 37-37 at the end of the third quarter. But the Lancers went on a 9-3 run over the first four minutes of the fourth quarter to take control.

The Tigers, who had won their previous 11 games, closed the gap late. Danielle Winner made a shot off the glass with five seconds left to cut Gilmour’s lead to four points, then Versailles called a timeout. The Lancers turned the ball over on the inbounds pass after the timeout, and Kami McEldowney laid a shot of the glass with 3.5 seconds left to bring Versailles within two points.

After McEldowney’s basket, Gilmour threw the inbounds pass to half court, which Versailles intercepted. The Tigers threw a pass back down to the mid-post, but a Gilmour player intercepted the pass, preventing the Tigers from getting a shot off before the buzzer.

Winner led Versailles with 13 points, while McEldowney scored 10. Both are juniors and will be back next season. Naz Hillmon led Gimour Academy with 24 points.

Versailles finishes 23-7. The Tigers have been in the D-III title game three times in the last four years, including in 2015, when they won the state championship.

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