The (12-2) Valley Lutheran Chargers visited Ovid-Elsie Tuesday night for a TVC West matchup which saw Ovid-Elsie come out on top, 30-27. The win is the first for the Marauders over a dominate Valley Lutheran team since joining the West Division. Ovid-Elsie improves to 10-5 (6-4 TVC West) while the Chargers fall to 12-3 (7-3 TVC West).
In a game which saw only two lead changes and Valley build a ten-point lead in the second quarter, the host Marauders remained undeterred. The Marauders trailed the entire game until about two and a half minutes to go when finally, a lay up by Kylee Sevenski gave the Marauders a 22-21 lead, which they would not relinquish.
“Our defense was tremendous tonight,” Head Coach Ryan Cunningham said. “We clamped down in the third quarter and when we cut it to three our kids started yelling ‘dilly, dilly’ and I knew we were going to pull this one off. It was the first time I saw them relaxed enough to have some fun.”
Ovid-Elsie trailed by four at the end of the first quarter (10-6) and saw the Valley lead balloon to 10 before making a 6-1 run to close out the second quarter, 11-10. The Chargers led 21-16 at half. But a 6-2 third quarter coupled with an 8-4 fourth quarter allowed the Marauders to capture the win. The Marauders only allowed for 6 second half points.
On the night Senior Emma Samson signed her National Letter of Intent to play college basketball at Kellogg Community College, the Lady Marauders handed out 9 assists on 11 made baskets, out-rebounded their opponent 23-17, grabbed 6 steals, and turned Valley over 10 times.
Sophomore Lauren Barton had a game high 10 points and 9 rebounds to lead Ovid-Elsie. Kylee Sevenski and Emma Samson each scored 7 points while MacKenzie Cunningham, Josie Nash, and Erin Witt all added two points. Cunningham also grabbed 4 rebounds while Witt handed out 5 assists, and Nash grabbed two steals.
“It was an all-around great effort by our entire team,” Cunningham added. “I couldn’t be prouder. Hopefully this will pay dividends as we enter the home stretch and the tournament.”
But the win also comes with heavy hearts.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Perry community tonight as well as they are dealing with a tragedy over there. Our girls wanted to wear a red ribbon on their shoes tonight to remember the loss of one of their Perry friends who died in a car accident this weekend. That just shows you what kind of kids we have here at Ovid-Elsie,” Cunningham noted.
Ovid-Elsie will travel to St. Charles on Friday night, but will play 3 of its last 5 games at home. The District tournament will be held at Durand this year and will feature Ovid-Elsie taking on Corunna, the team that ended Ovid-Elsie’s season last year by one point in the District Finals.