CORTLAND - It was a game that neither team seemed to want to win, but one of them had to finish the task before the bell rang for the start of home room this morning.
The Lakeview Bulldogs managed to finally find some offense in the third overtime to defeat the Champion Golden Flashes, 45-36, Thursday in an All-American Conference girls' basketball game. The Bulldogs scored more points in the third extra session (10) than they did in scoring a combined seven points in the fourth quarter and the first two overtime periods.
"I'm so tired. My knees are still shaking," Lakeview junior guard Allie Pavlik said. "It was a nerve-wracking game. They're a good team and we're a good team. It was even."
Tribune Chronicle / Michael Taylor
Champion’s Mackenzie Kiser, left, and Lakeview’s Emma Nicholas battle for a rebound in the second quarter of their game Thursday night. Lakeview won, 45-36, in three overtimes.
Pavlik led the charge for the Bulldogs (8-4, 5-1) with 20 points. She had six points in the three overtimes, including a layup and two free throws in the third extra session.
Some of the best advice Pavlik received came from one of the referees after she had put up an air ball on a free throw.
"My legs were shaking. I was nervous," Pavlik said. "I made them when I needed to. The ref was real cool. He told me we're here to have fun. I thought about that and it kind of relaxed me."
The most calming moment for the Bulldogs came when Lizzy Konitsney took a pass from Abby Pavlik and scored on a layup at the outset of the third OT. The 37-35 lead put the Bulldogs into a good frame of mind. Addison Becker then made two free throws to extend Lakeview's lead to 39-35.
Champion's Mackenzie Kiser made one of two foul shots, but Lakeview scored the final six points.
"We told the girls in that last overtime that we're going to get after them," Bulldogs coach Adam Lewis said. "They had some people foul out, and we thought we could take advantage of some matchups. We said we're going all in for this one, and we kind of went at them a little harder than we had previously."
The Golden Flashes (7-4, 2-1) saved their best for the fourth period after trailing 10-8 following the first period, 22-15 at halftime and 28-20 through three quarters. Champion's pressure defense began forcing turnovers and creating points in transition.
Kiser scored on a layup with 1:39 remaining in the period to give Champion a 31-30 lead. Konitsney made one of two free throws in the final minute to send the game into the first overtime tied at 31.
"We didn't play well offensively in the first half, but I was so proud of our effort in the second half," Flashes coach Jeff Thompson said. "Lesser teams would have quit down 12 points midway through the third quarter. That shows the character of our kids.
"I told the kids in the locker room that I'm so proud of our effort to get back into the game, but I'm so mad because we didn't take the game. It was ours to take, and we didn't take it."
Both teams managed just three points each in the first overtime, setting up the second overtime tied at 34. The only points in the second extra session were one free throw by Champion's Darian Rogers and one free throw by Allie Pavlik.
It set up a fast-paced third overtime that was a perfect fit for the Bulldogs' style.
"We're a transition team," Allie Pavlik said. "Our offense is to run the ball and run teams off the court. When a team slows us down with a zone, we struggle with that. We had a week off and we practiced being patient and making smart decisions. We did that in the third and fourth quarters, but you could tell we weren't as effective in it.
"As soon as the third overtime kicked in, he (Lewis) gave us the go to run the ball and do what we do, and that's our game,"
Kiser finished with 13 points.
Champion hosts Pymatuning Valley Saturday. Lakeview entertains Conneaut the same day.