Linsly Wins 3A Title in Double Overtime

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – You have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat Linsly.

Fort Frye found out 10 a.m. isn’t early enough.

Morgan Brunner scored 21 points, including seven in the second overtime, as Linsly won the girls’ Ohio Valley Athletic Conference 3A championship at Ohio University Eastern on Saturday morning.

It was Linsly’s 190th OVAC sports championship, but the first in girls’ basketball.

”We wanted this bad,” said Brunner, who also 10 rebounds and four steals. ”Especially after not even making it here (to the OVAC title game) last year. We wanted to make history and we did it.”

Not that it was easy for the Cadets, who ran their winning streak to 19 and improved to 19-1 overall.

Linsly committed 27 turnovers, shot 24 percent for the game and found itself in a 9-0 hole to start the game.

”I told the girls (prior) to tipoff that there would be runs, I think I even mentioned nine,” Linsly coach Erica Hall said. ”So when we came to the bench during that timeout, I said we were going to be just fine.”

After that, it was a back-and-forth tilt that saw 16 lead changes and neither team had a lead of more than three points once the Cadets got the score to 9-6 at the end of the first quarter.

The final lead change came at the 1:32 mark of the second overtime, when Brunner canned a 3-pointer to put the Cadets up 43-41. She then rebounded a Fort Frye miss and calmly sank a pair of free throws to make it a two-possession game. Vivian Allison then ended it with a pair of free throws with 22.2 seconds left.

”She played a great game,” Hall said of Brunner. ”The thing I like to say about Morgan is she likes the spotlight. The great thing about this team is we have a bunch of Morgan Brunners.”

Such as Allison, who had 16 points and hit a huge 3-pointer in the first overtime. Her trey answered a 3 by Makayla Liedtke that had given Fort Frye a short-lived lead and tied the game at 34-34.

”I’m not sure there was a bigger shot in the game than Viv’s 3-pointer,” Hall said.

Megan Liedtke had a pair of free throws to give Fort Frye the lead but Jazzie Orth, who was held to four points, answered with a pair when she was fouled with 1:06 remaining.

Neither team was able to capitalize forcing the second overtime.

The turning point might have come in the third quarter, when Linsly went into its full-court press. The constant harassment caused turnovers, something that also haunted Fort Frye.

”We didn’t do anything we haven’t done all year but when we went to our press, we did start causing a few turnovers,” Hall said. “With J.J. (Jackson) on top of our press, it is effective. She might be one of the best I’ve seen.”

Jackson had three steals and Linsly had 14 as a team.

”There were so many so many times we never got a shot off because we had a turnover before we had the opportunity to get the shot,” Fort Frye coach Dan Liedtke said. ”For this team here, I would never expect that. We couldn’t handle the ball. Right from the beginning of the game we were turning the ball over and it never stopped.”

Fort Frye had 13 field goals, and eight of them were 3s.

Linsly outrbounded Fort Frye 27-13, another big factor in the overtime periods, when the Cadets of Fort Frye couldn’t get many second-chance opportunities.