Scheuer's basket gives Unionville 51-49 OT win
● By Richard Gaw
Although he'd seen his squad play aggressively on the defensive end in the first half, just the opposite was happening when the Indians had the ball. Poor passing, mixed signals and the inability to get the ball into leading scorer Micayla Flores all contributed to Unionville heading into the locker room down 19-18 at halftime.
After a gutsy, claw-from-behind performance in the second half, Ellzy's "Little Things" halftime speech finally paid off – in overtime – when Unionville guard Casey Scheuer drove the lane with five seconds remaining and flipped an underhand shot over defenders to give the Indians a thrilling, 51-49 victory that handed Bishop Shanahan its first loss of the season.
"I told them that it comes down to the fundamentals of basketball," Ellzy said. "I told them, 'You're playing against a very, very good team who's not playing their game, and we're not playing our best, either. I told them that we have to do the little things, and if we continue to do the little things, we'll have a shot."
Soon after the opening tip-off, Unionville's defensive strategy was readily apparent: Deny the ball to Bishop Shanahan center, Devon Adams. Flores was joined by her teammates in an all-out shut down of Adams, holding the freshman to just two points in the first quarter and just six in the game.
Down 10-6 at the start of the second quarter, the Eagles went into a patient, perimeter-passing offense, burning nearly two minutes off the clock before the first shot was taken in the period. Eventually, they broke Unionville's zone, launching three three-pointers – two by Kelly Basile and one by Jennifer Sendi.
In the closing seconds of the first half, Unionville's Maddie Shanahan hit a half-court shot from just beyond the half-court line to send the Indians into the half down by one point.
What Unionville did not do well in the first half, it more than made up for in the second: Get the ball into the hands of Flores. The senior captain took over for the remainder of the game, scoring nine points in the third quarter on her way to a game-high 20 points, highlighted by a three-point play with 1:40 remaining in the quarter that gave Unionville a 33-27 lead.
With 2:30 left in regulation, a three-pointer by Shannon Cody cut Unionville's lead to 38-37, which led to the Indians going into a stall tactic, with senior guard Adrianna Weber holding the ball for more than a minute just beyond the three-point arc. With 30 seconds remaining, she was fouled by Bishop Shanahan's Kelly Cox and promptly made two free throws to give Unionville a three-point lead.
With 20 seconds left, Cox landed a clutch three-point shot from the top of the key to tie the game at 40. On the subsequent in-bounds play, Cox fouled Lexi Shanahan, who made one of two free throws to give Unionville a 41-40 lead. With five seconds left, the Eagles' Mikayla Maxwell drove down the lane, was fouled during her shot, and made one of two free throws to force the game into overtime.
With 22 seconds left in overtime, Scheuer was fouled and made one of two free throws to give the Indians a 49-45 lead, but on Bishop Shanahan's next possession, Cox scored on a layup and was fouled. Although she missed the free throw, her teammate Abigail Bailey was fouled and made two free throws to tie the game at 49, setting up Scheuer's game-winning shot.
"Coach Ellzy told us to get the ball to the basket and draw some fouls," Scheuer said moments after her game-winning basket. "I saw the opening and I just drove and took the shot. "It's all just a part of who we are as a team. We just have really good chemistry and we worked hard throughout the game and got it done."
"Casey's our senior," Ellzy said of Scheuer, who scored 10 points in the victory. "She's been hitting some big shots for us all year and she took it upon herself to step up and win the game, and I'm proud of her."
The win gave Unionville a 13-4 overall record on the season, and a solid 7-2 record in the Ches-Mont American, while Bishop Shanahan fell to 7-1 overall, while still remaining at the top of the Ches-Mont National.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.