Gleason girls’ finish tops Dresden start in earning 13A title
Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 12:00 pm
y RANDY CAVIN
In a highly physical District 13A championship game, the Gleason girls beat regular season champs Dresden 38-35 in overtime between the two county rivals.
The No. 3 seed Lady Bulldogs (21-7) had to make a miraculous comeback to take the district tournament crown in front of a crowd that saw two teams slug it out for 36 minutes.
The top-seeded Lady Lions (20-6) built up a 19-3 on Hailey Browning’s trifecta 51 seconds into the second period, but Dresden could not stop District 13A MVP Briana Jones from leading the Lady Bulldogs back into the game.
Emily Bell gained some momentum for the Lady Bulldogs on a free throw and a basket to make it 19-6, followed by a basket and a 3-pointer by Jones the cut the lead in half. Browning hit another three to double the lead.
Jones went back to work on Dresden’s defense when she was fouled while scoring on a short jumper. She made the free throw to convert the 3-point play and then scored on a pull-up jumper to make it a four-point game going into the half. The district MVP finished with a game-high 26 points.
“We really turned it on in the second quarter,” Gleason head coach Joel Ayers said. “They were up by 16 and had 19 points at that point in time and just ended up with 22 at the half.”
Defense was the big story in the third period as both teams were playing each other tight with a lot of pushing going on trying to get position on each other. The Lady Bulldogs’ defense kept Dresden’s big scorers from doing any damage and held the Lady Lions to four points while scoring seven points themselves to go into the fourth period down 26-25.
Gleason did not turn the ball over at all in the third period, while Dresden only turned it over twice. The Lady Bulldogs only had seven turnovers for the game, and Dresden ended with just 11.
“That is part of the whole ordeal,” Ayers said. “You want to have more shots than the other team when it is all said and done. If you can get more shots, then that means you did not turn it over as much.”
Amy McAlpin’s baseline jumper with 31 seconds left in regulation tied the score at 32-all and sent the game into overtime after Bell’s 3-point attempt rimmed out at the buzzer.
Jones put Gleason up by two early in the extra period, and then Browning hit a 3-pointer with just over two minutes left to give Dresden a one point lead. Kim Quick put the Lady Bulldogs up for good on her offensive rebound and putback.
Carrie Hatchel attempted a 3-pointer with 54 seconds to play, but her shot was off target and Jones was fouled as she grabbed the defensive rebound. She sank both free throws to put Gleason up by three.
Dresden had a chance to get back to within one with 10.2 seconds left when Jacqueline Ellis was fouled, but her aim was off on both shots. Dresden hit 39 percent of its shots and made 5-of-7 free throw attempts.
Gleason out-rebounded Dresden 18-14 with Jones grabbing an even dozen boards.
McAlpin led Dresden with 13 points followed by Browning with 11. Browning also made 3-of-4 3-point attempts.
Bell scored five points for Gleason with Quick tossing three, including the game winning basket.
Dresden head coach Jonathan West had a lot of praise for Jones after the game.
“Jones is a great player,” West said. “She was their offense, which she is every night. She scored 26 of their 38 points tonight. We were trying to face-guard her and we still let her catch us.”
Gleason will have a home date with Lake County in the first round of the Region 7A tournament on Thursday. The Lady Falcons eliminated the Lady Bulldogs from the postseason last year in the first round of the regional tournament.
“At least we do not have to play them at their place again,” Ayers said. “It will be a tough game. Lake County is a good team. They have two outstanding scorers.”
Dresden will also have a first round home game in the regional tournament against another county rival. The Lady Lions will play host to Greenfield, also on Thursday.
“We have Greenfield again, and they beat us a couple of weeks ago,” West said. “They are a good team, and it is going to be a good team regardless whoever we play. It is good that it is on our floor and, hopefully, we come out and play well.”
Published in The WCP 2.19.13
Gleason girls’ finish
tops Dresden start
in earning 13A title