COLUMBIANA - The Lisbon Blue Devils captured the Division IV girls sectional crown by virtue of an 38-36 win over the Crestview Rebels Saturday night at Crestview High School.
The Blue Devils (8-15) will vie with top-seeded Columbiana in the district semifinals Wednesday night at Mineral Ridge High School. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Crestview ends its season at 12-12.
A Mackenzie Mason hoop and a Tiffany Ketchum foul shot proved to be the difference as neither team was able to gather more than a five-point lead throughout the contest.
Mason's hoop pushed Lisbon's lead to 37-34 with 2:20 remaining. Emily Chlebus and Alexis Gates each drained a foul shot, trimming Lisbon's lead to one, 37-36, before Ketchum's successful conversion with just seven seconds remaining.
Alli Davis paced Lisbon with 10 points, including two momentum-swinging three-pointers. She was backed by Mason with seven while Karlee Pezzano and Sarah Boyd each contributed six. Mason led the Blue Devils on the boards with 11 caroms, followed by Taylor Siefke with seven. Davis had four steals to lead Lisbon in that category.
Crestview's Gates topped all scorers with 13 point. She was joined in double figures by Anna Hardenbrook with 12. Emilee Chlebus pulled down 11 missed shots for Crestview. Gates was credited with five steals followed by Tristin Huff with four.
"Even though we sometimes struggled during the regular season, our team never gave up," said Lisbon head coach Jason Thompson. "They kept on fighting in this game, as they have all year. Their hard work paid off."
In the early going, Crestview's 2-2-1 halfcourt press was forcing Lisbon into turnovers, forcing Thompson to call a timeout with just under three minutes played.
"We work in practice versus a 2-2-1 almost every day, but we weren't having success breaking it at first. It has given us problems this season," said Thompson. "During the timeout, we went over the importance of getting the ball to the middle."
Crestview opened up a 10-5 lead on a Gates' drive and a Ferris three-pointer from the right corner at the 1:48 mark of the first quarter. Lisbon baskets by Siefke and Mason trimmed the Rebels' lead to 10-9 after the first eight minutes.
"We came in with the idea that if we trapped and frustrated their guards, we could be successful," said Crestview head coach Rick Gates. "We were getting in the passing lanes, but we weren't converting at the other end."
Two foul shots by Gates and a Huff lob to Hardenbrook boosted Crestview's lead to 14-11. Boyd's trey evened the score for Lisbon before a Hardenbrook banker put the Rebels back in front, 16-14.
Two Pezzano hoops gave Lisbon an 18-16 advantage with just under three minutes remaining in the first half. Huff was successful on one of two foul shots, to pull Crestview to within one, 18-17 at intermission.
"There weren't any surprises by either team," said Thompson. "We played twice during the regular season. Plus, we went against each other in summer ball. Coach Gates is a great coach and always has his team prepared."
The Blue Devils went up five, 28-23 in the third frame, on a driving hoop by Ketchum and another Boyd three-pointer. The Rebels evened the contest at 29-29 on a drives by Hardenbrook and Gates. Davis drained a three-pointer with just 26 seconds showing on the clock to give Lisbon a 32-29 at the end of three quarters.
"Davis hurt us with her three's at crucial times," said Gates. "Sarah Boyd also hit some three's for them. That was no surprise. They are both good shooters."
Crestview's attack was hampered by Hardenbrook getting in early foul trouble and then fouling out with 3:35 remaining in the game.
"With Anna out of the game, we are a different team," Gates said. "She has been our go-to girl all season. We are really going to miss her and Emily Chlebus. They have gave us tremendous leadership all season."
Crestview defeated Lisbon twice, 47-46 and 54-46, during Inter-Tri County League Upper Tier regular season play.
Neither team shot well from the foul line as Lisbon made 4 of 12 (25 percent) and Crestview 11 of 23 (48 percent).
LISBON SCORING: Tiffany Ketchum 1-1-3, Karlee Pezzano 3-0-6, Sarah Boyd 2-0-6, Emily Steves 0-2-2, Alli Davis 4-0-10, Jenna Dickson 0-0-0, Taylor Siefke 2-0-4, Mackenzie Mason 3-1-7. TEAM TOTALS: 11, 4-16: 38.
CRESTVIEW SCORING: Emilee Chlebus 1-1-3, Anna Hardenbrook 5-2-12, Tristin Huff 0-2-2, Alexis Gates 4-5-13, Emily Ferris 1-1-4, Dana Drinnon 1-0-2, Sydni Bowker 0-0-0, Hope Halas 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 12, 11-23: 36.
Three-point goals: Lisbon 4 (Boyd 2, Davis 2), Crestview 1 (Ferris).