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Lady Marauder Defense Stifles Hornets as O-E Wraps up 19-1 Regular Season

Lady Marauder Defense Stifles Hornets as O-E Wraps up 19-1 Regular Season

NEW LOTHROP — The Ovid-Elsie Lady Marauders blanked New Lothrop in the first quarter 16-0 en route a 38-26 MMAC (Mid-Michigan Activities Conference) victory here February 25.

Sophomore, Evelyn Cole goes up for two of her nine points during district
action against Flint Hamady. Cole
also hit the game winning bucket with seconds left in the game defeating Hamady 34-32. See pages 8-9 for sports story results.

The win completed a 19-1 regular season and a perfect 14-0 in the Mid-Michigan Activities Conference. New Lothrop dropped to 15-5 on the year and 11-3 in the MMAC.

“We got out to a great start and held a 32-6 halftime lead,” said O-E head coach Ryan Cunningham. “But they made some adjustments at halftime and played with a lot more intensity than we did in the second half and it got a bit scary.”

The Hornets outscored the Marauders 12-2 in the third stanza and cut the lead to 34-18 and followed it up with an 8-4 advantage in the fourth quarter but Ovid-Elsie was able to hang out for another double digit win.

“They hit a couple big shots in the second half and we struggled to score and convert at the free throw line,” said Cunningham. “Again, our defense was stout and although we struggled to score in the second half, we didn’t quit on the defensive end and that paid huge dividends for us. We also had to battle through some foul trouble. But, a win is a win and we are going to celebrate this one just like any other and get ready for districts.”

Ava Bates led OE with 10 points and 3 steals while Evalyn Cole added 9 points, 5 rebounds and 6 steals. Hailee Campbell chipped in with 6 points and 5 rebounds while Caitlyn Walter (4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) and Braylon Byrnes each scored 4 points, Kiah Longoria 3 points and 6 steals, and Rylee Lewis 2 points. Braeden Tokar added 5 rebounds for the Lady Marauders.

Ovid-Elsie handed out 12 assists on 14 made baskets and collected 22 steals off of 30 New Lothrop turnovers. The Hornets held a 32-27 rebound advantage over the Marauders.

The Marauders entered District play against the winner of the Corunna-Flint Hamady first round matchup.

Marauder girls survive and advance into March Madness District
Final past Hamady, 34-32

OVID-ELSIE — March Madness … survive and advance.

Kiah Longoria scores 4 points for OE
during District Finals on March 2nd.
Photo by Denise Burgess

That sentiment never rang more true than Wednesday night as Ovid-Elsie downed Flint Hamady 34-32 to advance to the District Finals March 2 against the winner of Owosso and Chesaning.

“I thought our kids played as hard as they have all season,” said O-E head coach Ryan Cunningham. “Hamady came to play tonight and they gave us all we wanted for this semi-final.”

Hamady led 9-6 after the first quarter but Ovid-Elsie used a 10-3 second quarter surge to lead 16-12 at halftime. In a back-and-forth game, Hamady tied things up 23-23 with a 14-10 third quarter run of their own.

“Our girls came to the bench at the end of the third and said ‘It is zero to zero for eight minutes'”, noted Cunningham. “That told me they still had some fight in them.”

Ovid-Elsie out scored Hamady 8-6 in the final stanza behind 5 points from Evalyn Cole in the 4th quarter including an offensive rebound and put back to take the
lead and the game winner with 6 seconds to go.

“Hamady played tough,” said Cunningham, “but give our kids credit because they battled all night and hit some big shots down the stretch. And Evalyn Cole definitely earned her stripes tonight with a huge five point run on her own in the 4th including the game winner.”

Caitlyn Walter (3 assists and 3 steals) led the Lady Marauders with 10 points while Cole finished with 9 points and 3 steals, Hailee Campbell 7 points, Kiah Longoria 4 points, Ava Bates 3 points and Braylon Byrnes a free throw to round out the Marauder scoring.

Bates also gathered 10 rebounds and 3 steals while Hailee Campbell added 4 rebounds.

“I have to give a ‘shout out’ to Campbell because she stepped in when Braeden (Tokar) got hurt and played amazing,” added Cunningham.

The Lady Marauders (20-1) handed out 8 assists on 12 made baskets and held a 22-18 rebound advantage for the game. Ovid-Elsie was also able to create 20 Hamady turnovers while gathering 10 steals.

Hamady shot 50% from the field (13 of 26) while OE shot 34.3%. Hamady also bested OE from the free throw line 66.7% to 40.9%, respectively.

The District Finals were played at Ovid-Elsie Friday night at 7:00 p.m.