ANDOVER - Lakeview has a new all-time scoring leader in Ali Gagne.
She celebrated by delivering the game-winning shot as Lakeview downed Perry, 69-67, in a Division II sectional championship game Thursday at Pymatuning Valley High School.
Gagne knocked home a jumper with 11.7 seconds to play in the game to lift fifth-seeded Lakeview into a district semifinal matchup with top-seeded Geneva, a 45-41 winner over Conneaut in the other sectional championship.
"I felt confident going into tonight's game," Gagne said.
Gagne, who was 15 points short of the Lakeview mark heading into Thursday's game, broke the Bulldogs' all-time scoring mark (boys or girls) of 1,141 points set in 1977 by Vicki Lawrence.
Gagne, who had a game-high 32 points, got her record setter on a basket with 36.9 seconds remaining in the first half.
"I really didn't know I was that close to the record," the 5-foot-10 forward said. "Our team has been playing great lately, everybody's been stepping up. Coming down the floor with just under 20 seconds left, I just wanted to have a chance to win the game for our team."
As for the game winner, it was the first of her career and it couldn't have come at a better time. Moving in from intense pressure by the Pirates, Allie Pavlik found Gagne open ahead of a defender. Gagne drove to about 10 feet out and drained the jumper.
"We had basically two main goals this season," said Lakeview coach Adam Lewis, whose team is 18-4. "First, we wanted to win our league, and we did that with a 10-0 record. Secondly, we wanted to reach the district tournament, which we did.
"Now we have to get ready for Geneva again. They have had our number the last two years in district games, so we know it will be tough next Thursday. They always have a solid program. This was a great win for us, and we've had a great season. It's been a lot of fun, and it's taken a lot of hard work to get to this point."
As for Perry (13-8), it was impressed with Gagne's performance as well.
"It was an unbelievable effort tonight from Gagne," Perry coach Ryan Dolatowski said. "Our girls had put us in a position to win. I had a tough time in the locker room with our five seniors. It's been a great run, I think we were 56-30 over their careers and our program is on solid ground thanks to their work ethics.
"Gagne is just a player who can do it all. In the first half, they played a zone and we hit the open shots. In the second half, they went man to man and it was tougher. We got good looks, but not as many."
Beside the monster night from Gagne, who had torched Conneaut earlier in the year for 46, Sentner hit 10 of 13 free throws, including four of six in the fourth period among her 16 points. Pavlik added 10 points while leading her team with six rebounds.
Kahoun hit for 13 points and Rideout added 10 for Perry.
Kelly is a freelance writer that writes for The (Ashtabula) Star Beacon