LEAVITTSBURG — LaBrae senior Jah’nya Dorsey had a chance to end it in regulation when the Vikings hosted Newton Falls on Thursday.
LaBrae had the ball with eight seconds remaining in the fourth, but Dorsey didn’t get the shot off before time expired.
However, she made up for it with a 3-pointer to start overtime and helped the Vikings seal the game by scoring inside with 30 seconds to go, as the Vikings won 43-40.
“My teammates came out and encouraged me,” Dorsey, who scored 11 points, said. “I wasn’t shooting well at the beginning of the game. After they encouraged me, I just shot the ball and it started going in.
“We have a great coach. Ella Kuszmaul scored her career-high tonight. She helped us a lot. Our defense got better in the second half, and we pulled out the win.”
Ella Kuszmaul is only a freshman, but she poured in a game-high 17 points.
“We worked as a team really well,” she said. “We cut down on our turnovers which helped us pull through.
“I’m not even sure if this was my career-high. It’s not my first thought after the game. I like to go home and watch film. I like to see what I can do better, and what I need to work on.”
It looked like the Vikings had plenty to work on as they trailed 17-8 at the end of the first quarter. Danielle Drake (team-high 13 points) nailed 3 from behind the arc, and Lilly Sait hit one as well for the Tigers.
LaBrae started to get back in it in the second, but Newton Falls was still ahead 27-21 at halftime.
Marissa Levensky began the third quarter by feeding Kuszmaul for a layup. Levensky followed with a nice take to the hoop.
Jasmine Dangerfield was working the boards for the Tigers, but a floater in the lane just before the buzzer by Kuszmaul tied it up 29-29 heading to the fourth.
Sophomore Sammi Wells played great defense, and her turnaround gave the Vikings their first lead.
Shelby Fowler tied it back up for Newton Falls, but a 3-pointer from Kuszmaul gave LaBrae a 36-31 advantage with four minutes left in regulation.
Drake canned another one from downtown, and Natalee Albert did as well, but the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference rivals went to overtime tied 38-38.
The Tigers had a chance to send it to a second overtime, but a 3-pointer rimmed out as the buzzer sounded.
“We got hot in the beginning,” Newton Falls coach Mark Baker said. “LaBrae really clamped down on us defensively.
“We had a good look at the end to tie it up. That’s what you love and hate about basketball. Sometimes it goes in, and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Just enough shots went in for LaBrae as they split the season series with the Tigers.
“We had a lot of chances to win it,” LaBrae coach Mandy Rowe said. “Our defense did a good job of covering up their shooters. They got hot in the first half from the three-point line.
“We made some adjustments at halftime. The girls did a great job of battling and rebounding. They ran through our offense to find good shots.”