Tecumseh girls hold off Lebanon in up-tempo upset


Tecumseh girls hold off Lebanon in up-tempo upset

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Tecumseh junior Corinne Thomas (22) scored 29 points as No. 7 Tecumseh beat No. 3 Lebanon 64-58 in the D-I sectional on Tuesday at Troy. GREG BILLING / CONTRIBUTED

The Tecumseh Arrows don’t take the court again until Monday. They’ll gladly take that break to rest up from Tuesday’s Division I sectional tournament victory, a 64-58 upset over Lebanon that resembled a track meet in high tops.

Fittingly, the fourth quarter was a sprint to the finish. Seventh-seeded Tecumseh and No. 3 Lebanon combined for 37 points, nearly matching the offensive output from the first half (50 points). The final quarter had two lead changes, three ties — the last coming at 58-58 with 1:25 remaining — and too many big plays to mention at Troy High School.

Lebanon led 53-48 with 3:45 left for its largest lead. And just when it appeared the momentum was swinging the Warriors’ way, Tecumseh junior Corinne Thomas dropped in a 3-pointer to halt Lebanon’s rally.

A minute later Arrows’ junior Presley Griffitts calmly sank another 3-pointer from the top of the key to tie the game 54-54 with 2:43 left.

“That was huge,” Tecumseh coach Danielle Thomas said of the outside shots. “Then we made a couple defensive plays … it was kind of a blur at the end. It was just turn up the defense and see what we can get.”

What Tecumseh (19-5) got was a chance to play for a Division I sectional championship. Tecumseh plays No. 6 Fairmont (16-8) at 6 p.m. Monday at Troy. The winner advances to the district championship. Fairmont beat No. 9 Vandalia Butler 45-31 in Monday’s second game.

Against Lebanon (18-5), Tecumseh again unleashed its full-court pressure for nearly four quarters. The Arrows led 19-9 late in the first quarter and held on to a 27-23 lead at halftime. The Arrows – who led by as many as eight in the third quarter – saw that lead disappear early in the fourth.

Tecumseh scored the decisive final six points on a Griffitts basket with 1:13 to play, then added a pair of Thomas free throws with 58 seconds left. After two key defensive plays from junior Macy Berner, Griffitts capped the scoring with two free throws with 24 seconds left.

“It was really good to see everyone contributing and playing as a team,” said Corinne Thomas, who finished with a game-high 29 points. “It couldn’t take two people. It had to take all five no matter who was on the floor.”

Still, Thomas and Griffitts did most of the damage. The duo combined for 52 of the Arrows’ 64 points. Thomas shot 8-of-11 from the field and hit eight of her nine free throws. Griffitts went 9-12 from the field and made all four free throws. As a team Tecumseh shot 21-of-41 (58.5 percent).

Eva White led Lebanon with 16 points. Alexis Straw added 14 and Kendall Folley 12.

D-II girls at Lebanon: Southwestern Buckeye League rivals Franklin (17-6) and Monroe (17-6) will play for a sectional title after both posted semifinal wins on Tuesday. Layne Ferrell scored 20 points as Franklin eliminated Badin 49-37. Monroe defeated Oakwood 55-33 to push its win streak to four games.

Monroe and Franklin split two games during the regular season. They’ll play a third time at 6 p.m. Monday at Lebanon.

D-II girls at Tecumseh: Kenton Ridge (13-10) and Shawnee (17-6) will have Round 3 of their girls basketball series at 7:30 p.m. in Thursday’s D-II sectional semifinals at Tecumseh. Shawnee swept both regular-season Central Buckeye Conference games and is seeded third. The Cougars are a No. 5 seed.

Northwestern (8-14) faces a mighty challenge against top-seeded Tippecanoe (21-2) in the upper bracket of the D-II sectional at Tecumseh at 6 p.m. The winners return to Tecumseh for Tuesday’s D-II sectional final.

D-III girls at Trotwood: Ohio Heritage Conference rivals Greeneview (21-2) and West Liberty-Salem (18-5) both posted tourney wins on Tuesday and will play for a D-III sectional title this coming Tuesday. Greeneview defeated Urbana 72-32 and WL-Salem did the same to Indian Lake, 55-24.

WL-Salem is the OHC North Division champ and Greeneview the OHC South champion. Greeneview defeated WL-Salem 44-33 in the regular season.

D-IV girls at Brookville: Cross County Conference rivals Covington (18-6) and Franklin Monroe (21-3) will play in a sectional final on Tuesday after both posted semifinal wins. A No. 3 seed, Covington defeated Twin Valley South 44-24. Franklin Monroe, a No. 2 seed, stopped Bradford 50-29. Franklin Monroe defeated Covington 51-35 in the regular season.

D-IV girls at Sidney: Shelby County League rivals Russia (19-5) and Botkins (15-9) are paired in Saturday’s sectional final at noon. On Tuesday Russia defeated Mississinawa Valley 77-23 and Botkins dodged Riverside 30-28. Botkins swept both games against Russia in the regular season.

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