ELYRIA - In a game plagued by fouls and mostly played at the free throw line, it was fitting the season opener for Midview and Elyria Catholic would come down to late foul shooting at the Coliseum on Friday night.
Elyria Catholic freshman Emily Taylor, who had a sensational debut with 26 points, unfortunately missed two free throws with five seconds left that would have sent the game into overtime and Midview walked away with a 61-59 win.
The Panthers, extremely young with only one senior on a roster that has five sophomores, two juniors and one freshman, staged a dramatic comeback in the fourth quarter to almost send the game into overtime.
They trailed by 10 points, 59-49, with only 1:09 remaining when the Middies also started missing free throws in bunches, quieting their student fans who had been shouting "It`s All Over."
Midview missed its last six free throws and eight of nine in the final minute while Taylor and Sara Schneider came up with key baskets to close the gap to the final two points.
There were a staggering 53 fouls called in the game, setting up 81 free throws. There were so many trips to the free throw line in the fourth quarter that the Middies didn`t have a single field-goal attempt in the last four minutes of the game, their last 12 points scored at the line. Four Elyria Catholic players fouled out and one for Midview.
While Taylor was the outstanding player of the game, Jacki Street wasn`t too bad for Midview either.
She scored 18 points and pulled down 15 rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Kelsey Voit had 10 rebounds for the Middies, including three clutch boards in the final minutes.
"It was a battle out there," said Midview coach Kim Kauffman. "Each point didn`t come easily.
"Kelsey Voit came up big in the paint at the end. She got physical and got some big boards. And I liked the hustle of Lauren Gauvreau.
"But the whole team played hard. All in all, as a team, we came together tonight and worked things out."
"That`s what I feared going into the game, a tight one because of our age," said EC coach Pat Higley.
"But when you have freshmen and sophomores shooting free throws in the clutch against juniors and seniors, the odds aren`t too much in your favor. But our kids hustled. "
Midview outshot the Panthers from the field, 32 percent to 27 per cent and also won the rebound battle 68-55. EC did, however, have fewer turnovers, 15-18.
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Midview 61, Elyria Catholic 59
MIDVIEW (61): Jacki Street 6-6-18, Hanna Duran 5-2-12, Danielle Szpak 2-3-8, Kelsey Voit 1-6-8, Megan Snow 1-4-6, Lauren Gauvreau 2-1-5, Janie Rauscher 2-0-4, Annie harder 0-0-0, Kaylee Croming 0-0-0, Totals 19-22-61.
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (59): Emily Taylor 8-7-26, Sara Schneider 4-6-14;, Rachel Wilden 2-2-6, Katie Shoemaker 2-2-6, Katherine McNeeley 1-2-4, Mimi Rothgery 1-1-3, Ashley Schuster 0-2-2, Stephanie Recko 0-0-0, Molly O`Malley 0-0-0, Myrasia Flowers 0-0-0. Totals 18-22-59.
Midview 15 9 15 22 - 61
Elyria Cath. 12 15 14 18 - 59
Three-point goals: Midview 1 for 7 (Szpak), Elyria Catholic 1 for 8 (Taylor); Field goals: Midview 19 of 59 (32 per cent); EC 18 of 66 (27 per cent); Free Throws: Midview 22 of 43, EC 22 of 38; Rebounds: Midview 68 (Street 15, Voit 10, Snow 6) EC 55 (Schuster 7, Mimi Rothgery 6, McNeeley 6), Turnovers: Midview 18, EC 15; Fouls: Midview 26 (Street fouled out), EC 27 (Schoemaker, McNeeley, Recko, Schneider fouled out).
Junior Varsity: Elyria Catholic 47, Midview 40.