GIRLS HOOPS: Lady Dragons go OT to win home tourney

Four quarters wasn’t enough to decide a winner between Warren and Conneaut in the championship game of the inaugural Lady Dragons Tip-Off Tournament Saturday night, but the hosts started the tradition on the right foot, outscoring the visiting Eagles in the four-minute overtime period to take first-place with a 44-43 victory.

“It’s nice to be in a close game this early in the year, so the tournament was a success,” said Warren coach Lisa Ruhlman. “They played hard. It was a game of runs, and the girls did a good job coming back every time they got down.”

Conneaut held a pair of late leads in the fourth quarter and in overtime, forcing the Dragons to answer.

And answer they did.

Trailing 41-40 with under a minute remaining in the fourth at Warren Area High School, Paige Wilson drew a foul and converted the first end of a one-and-one to tie the game. Wilson missed the second free throw and Conneaut secured the rebound, but the hustle of D.J. Hahn forced a turnover to keep the ball in Warren’s offensive end.

After a timeout, the Eagles pressured the Lady Dragons into a five-second violation on the inbounds pass, but the visitors were unable to take the lead as a shot rimmed out with time ticking away. Alexa Bupp’s half-court buzzer beater attempt fell short, sending the game into overtime.

Overtime started with more of the same, as Conneaut held a one-point lead with under a minute left in the period before a steal by Bupp gave Hahn a chance to give her team the lead on the other end. Hahn’s shot missed, but she crashed the boards to get her own rebound, sinking the putback and a foul.

Hahn found her way to basket again after the missed foul shot, forcing a jump ball to keep the possession in her team’s favor. Warren kept the ball in its own end just long enough, and the Eagles were unable to get a shot off as the clock hit zero.

It was a bittersweet victory for the Dragons, as senior point guard Kari Santo had to be carried off the floor after an apparent leg injury with just two seconds left in the game.

“Hopefully she just tweaked it,” said Ruhlman.

For her efforts Friday and Saturday, Santo was named the tournament’s defensive MVP.

Hahn took the offensive MVP honor after scoring 28 points on Friday and 18 on Saturday. Wilson had her second double-double in as many nights with 12 points and 14 rebounds, and also represented Warren on the all-tournament team.

The Lady Dragons will return to action on Friday, Dec. 13 in a non-region game at Bradford.

Warren fell to Orchard Park in the finals of the JV tournament, 29-21. Katlyn Adams led with nine points and Mackenzie Boice added six.

Orchard Park claimed a win in the consolation game of the varsity tournament, 59-45, over Olean.

Varsity final

CONNEAUT (43): Uplinger 0 0-0 0, Clement 1 0-0 3, Phelps 1 0-0 3, Boyce 0 0-0 0, Litwiler 6 4-8 16, Baker 4 0-1 9, Litwin 3 1-1 8, Wilson 0 0-0 0, Shidemantle 2 0-0 4; Totals 17 5-10 43.

WARREN (44): Hahn 6 5-10 18, Bupp 3 0-5 7, Meg. Loutzenhiser 0 0-0 0, Boice 0 0-2 0, Santo 2 1-3 5, B. Merenick 0 2-2 2, Marsh 0 0-0 0, Wilson 5 2-7 12; Totals 16 10-29 44.

Conneaut 12 8 12 9 2 – 43

Warren 8 16 4 13 3 – 44

3-pointers: C – Clement, Phelps, Litwin, Wilson; W – Hahn, Bupp.

Junior varsity final

ORCHARD PARK (29): Ruh 2 0-0 4, Lenard 2 3-5 7, Witkowski 0 0-0 0, Zabriski 0 1-4 1, Fischer 1 0-0 2, Hillis 4 3-6 11, Probst 0 0-0 0, Lassiter 2 0-0 4, Spitz 0 0-2 0, Kosteliny 0 0-2 0; Totals 11 7-19 29.

WARREN (21): McClure 0 0-0 0, Mad. Loutzenhiser 0 1-2 1, Adams 4 1-2 9, Wortman 0 0-0 0, Boice 2 2-2 6, Massa 1 0-0 2, Marsh 1 1-3 3; Totals 8 5-9 21.

Orchard Park 5 10 7 7 – 29

Warren 6 3 9 3 – 21

3-pointers: O – none; W – none.