NEW KNOXVILLE, OH – The old adage of free throws win games was never more evident than it was at New Knoxville Thursday night when with just 5.9 seconds remaining, St. Marys senior Sydney Cisco connected on two from the line to give her team a 53-51 road victory in non-league action.
The charity tosses capped off a huge night for Cisco as it represented the last two of her game high 27 markers. Overall on the evening every point Cisco would be responsible for would come from either the free throw line where she finished 11 of 12, or from behind the arc where she hit on 5 of the 6 St. Marys three point goals.
The first nearly three minutes of the contest featured no score from either side. New Knoxville’s Tayler Doty gave the Rangers their first and only lead at 1-0 with 5:02 remaining in the opening quarter until midway through the third period when she connected on one of her to free throw attempts.
Foul trouble would find itself as a big key to the outcome of the contest and began to manifest itself when St. Marys senior Makenna Mele picked up her second foul in the first half and was forced to become a spectator until the beginning of the third stanza.
5’10 senior Madi Howell, playing with four guards for Riders coach Jon Burke and in place of Mele paced her teams inside game with a solid first half as she scored 8 of her 14 points in that time to help give St. Marys a 14-12 lead after the first quarter and a 24-20 halftime advantage.
New Knoxville sophomore Megan Jurosic put the Rangers on top of St. Marys at 31-30 with 3:16 to go for the first time since the first quarter connected on one of her two charity tosses. Not to be outmatched however, the Roughriders stormed back in to the lead at the 1:51 mark remaining in the stanza when Cisco hit on two of two from the line for her only points in the quarter to make it a 34-33 ballgame.
In the fourth quarter with the game beginning to grind down through the final handful of minutes each team would lose key players as the Rangers would be forced to part with Jurosic and junior sharpshooter Erin Scott. St. Marys post duo of Mele and Howell were both casualties of the number of fouls called as well as they were sent to the bench in the final minutes as well.
Following a basket by New Knoxville to tie the contest at 51-51 and a turnover by the Roughriders, Sydney Cisco stole a pass and then was fouled to set up the games winning charity tosses. New Knoxville ended with the basketball and one last opportunity out of the ensuing timeout but were unable to connect from deep for the win and saw their record fall to 1-2 on the season while St. Marys improved to 2-1 on the year with the victory. As a team the Roughriders helped their own cause in the win as they went 21/28 from the line.
Sydney Cisco led all scorers with 27 points and was joined in double figures for St. Marys by Madi Howell who tossed in 14. The Rangers ended the night with 3 in double figures led by Jurosic’s 17 points while teammates Tayler Doty and Morgan Leffel each ended the contest with 10.
St. Marys (53):
Ally Will 2
Sydney Cisco 27
Makenna Mele 4
Lauren Cisco 3
Jill Schmitmeyer 3
Madi Howell 14
3s: 6/12 (S. Cisco 5, L. Cisco)
New Knoxville (51):
Tasia Lauth 6
Tayler Doty 10
Morgan Leffel 10
Erin Scott 8
Megan Jurosic 17
3s: 2/8 (E. Scott 2)
JV: 19-12 New Knoxville (2 quarters)