"We've been waiting all year for this" said Lebanon senior guard Sara Romano.
Romano was on the team last year when Lebanon lost in the championship game to Kennett in a heart breaker. This year was different, though. This year the Raiders got revenge, defeating the Eagles 59-56 in the girls basketball Division II semi-finals.
Big Game for Scheie
Trina Scheie continues to have a monster sophomore season for Lebanon. Scheie had 24 points and 21 rebounds. It seemed like Scheie was getting literally EVERY single rebound out there. She had a terrific game, and was the biggest reason the Raiders were able to pull out the win.
"It came down to the rebounding" said Kennett head coach Peter Ames. "They had a number of second and third shots, and we didn't do a good enough job on the boards.
Kennett definitely had some size inside, with Lauren White, Kaitlin Taylor, Lauren Kidder and Casey Blakely. But Sheie was just too much for them to handle inside. Colleen Gilliat also did a nice job on the boards for Lebanon, who out-rebounded Kennett 44-26.
Lebanon Able to Hold On
Lebanon led this game for virtually the entire way. But Kennett refused to go away, they just kept battling back. Lebanon led by as many as 10 points after a quick start to the 3rd quarter when Colleen Taylor banked in a three-pointer to make it 42-32 Raiders. The Eagles then went on a 13-4 run, led by Allie Wagner who really heated up. Wagner had a game-high 28 points. She hit a big three which cut the Lebanon lead to 46-43 with 1:49 left, then made a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 1, 46-45.
Wagner then picked up her 4th personal foul with 6:14 left in the 4th quarter with her team trailing 50-45. She had to be careful to not pick up her 5th, because then it would be VERY difficult for Kennett to pull out the win. Fortunately she did not foul out, but Lebanon still won it.
Lebanon increased their lead to 52-45 with 5:00 left, as Scheie continued to dominate the paint. Wagner again hit a big shot, pulling up for a three which cut the lead to 52-50. The Raiders increased their lad to 56-50, but then Wagner AGAIN hit a big three-pointer, cutting the lead to 56-53.
Big FT's By Romano
Leading 56-54 with 49.7 seconds left, Romano went to the line for a 1-and-1. They were big free throws, because if she made both shots then it would be a 2 possession game. With the Kennett fans getting loud and all of that pressure, Romano drained both shots, nothing but net.
One Last Chance for Kennett
With Lebanon up 59-56 Moriah Morton went to the line for 2. She missed both shots, so Kennett had a chance to tie it up with a 3 with 5 seconds left. The outlet pass went over Wagner's head though, nearly going out of bounds. Wagner tried to get control of the ball, but she was called for a travel. Game over.
The End of 2 Great Careers
Allie Wagner and Melissa Frase are both 1,000 point scorers for Kennett. Together they form the best back court in the state. They have such great chemistry out thre on the court with one another, it's a pleasure to watch. Wagner had 28 points and 3 steals in this game. She simply put on a show, and it is obvious why she's the #3 ranked player in the Class of 2011. Wagner will continue her career at Merrimack College next season. You also have to give credit to Frase, who had to battle back from a torn ACL she suffered over the summer. It's not an easy injury to come back from, but Frase has played some terrific basketball since returning. Tonight she had 9 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. She was a menace on defense all game, and was also very unselfish on offense, making some great drive-and-dish plays.