Galion outscored visiting Buckeye Central 13-3 over the final 3:27 of the game to pull of a come-from-behind 58-53 victory in North Central Conference girls’ varsity basketball competition last Friday at the high school.
The win is the second in a row for the Lady Tigers who improved their overall record to 3-12 this season.
At the 3:33 mark of the fourth quarter, Buckeye Central’s Hailey Hildebrand knocked down a 20-foot three-point shot to put the visitors up 50-45 — their biggest lead of the game.
Just six seconds later though, Galion’s Taylor Valentine responded in kind with a nothing-but-net trey to begin Galion’s 13-3 run that secured the win. Included in the rally was an old-fashion basket-and-free-throw three-point play by Valentine with 2:00 showing on the scoreboard that gave the Lady Tigers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
“We got a little contribution by everybody tonight,” a smiling first-year Galion head coach Bryce Lehman said. “The last group we had in there handled the pressure. I’m proud of the girls.”
The locals had leads of 15-11 and 23-22 at the end of the first two periods, respectively. The Buckettes took the third frame 13-12, making it 35-35 going into the last eight minutes.
Junior post Grace Brown put up a double-double for the vistors with a team-high 14 points and game-high 10 rebounds. Buckeye Central struggled with Brown in the paint as the hosts kept feeding her the ball inside, taking advantage of her 6’2” frame.
“We’re gonna keep running that play until they stop it,” Lehman matter-of-factly said.
Also for the winners, Raven Crawford scored 11 points — 7 in the fourth quarter — in addition to handing out 4 assists. Ramonda Dorsey netted 10 points, dealt out 4 assists and picked the visitors for 4 steals; Valentine garnered 9 points; Jaime Ehrman had 6 tallies; Robin Barnes scored 4 points and blocked 3 shots; and Sydney Dameron and Kayla LaForest contributed 2 tallies apiece.
“We’re so stinkin’ young,” Lehman stated. “It was nice to get the win on Parents’ Night.”
Brooke Karl popped in a game-high 18 points for Buckeye Central. Kilee Kimmel added 16, including an almost perfect 11-for-12 showing on foul shots.
Team statistics had Galion making 21-of-52 two-pointers (40%), 1-of-6 threes (17%), and a sizzling 13-of-15 free throws (87%). The locals also grabbed 30 rebounds and turned the ball over 17 times. Buckeye Central made 14 twos, a trio of threes, was 16-of-22 on freebies (73%) and gave the ball away 20 times. In the first half, the Buckettes were 11-for-11 on charity tosses. In the final 16 minutes, they were only 5-for-11.
Buckeye Central won the junior varsity game, 37-19. Kelli Baker led Galion’s offense with 10 points.