By Abigail Hintz
The Cedarville Lady Jackets (19-7, 12-5 G-MAC) suffered a second heartbreaking loss to Findlay (16-11, 12-5 G-MAC) 64-56 on Wednesday night which was Senior Night for the seniors. In the two team’s last meeting this season, Cedarville fell just 70-67.
The result moved Findlay up to fourth in the G-MAC standings, while Cedarville remains at third.
Junior guard Stevie Johnting had a game she will likely remember for the rest of her career with a career-high 26 points, going 9-19 from the field and a massive 7-16 from deep. Sophomore guard Emily Chapman was the only other player to enter double digits with 12.
“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” said Johnting. “In their zone, the ball gets inside the paint and then dished out like that it helps me get open and helps other people get open and make threes as well.”Fouls were a major struggle for the Jackets, committing 22 to the Oiler’s nine.
Head coach Kari Hoffman was pleased with her team’s performance.
“I thought it was a really good basketball game,” she said. “I thought our game plan was executed almost perfectly. Our girls did awesome on the defensive end. I think we just ran out of steam a little bit.
Seniors Anna DeFilippo, Cameron Peek and Abby Wolford were honored after the game for their combined fourteen years of contribution to the team.
Hoffman beamed about the three seniors, saying, “Anna plays with such joy and Cameron has this confidence about her that everybody loves and Abby has the passion that’s just so visible to everybody.”
The Lady Jackets came out with an untraditional lineup in order to give the two eligible seniors a chance to finish out their regular season home career with a start. Wolford suffered an injury in the game on Feb. 13 against Malone that has kept her out of the lineup since.
This led to a slightly slow start for Cedarville, but they were beginning to settle in going into the first media timeout, down just 6-5.
The two teams were all over each other, though Findlay’s offense was running much smoother than Cedarville’s. The Oiler’s frustrating defense began to get to the Jackets, and they went down 12-7 with two and a half minutes to play in the first quarter. Cedarville began fouling, committing four in less than two minutes. They finished the fourth quarter down 18-13.
Johnting stepped up for her team in the first quarter, contributing eight of the team’s 12 points.
Despite the slow start, the Jackets turned it on in the second quarter, which they won 22-11.
Freshman guard Isabelle Bolender gave her team a big boost in momentum when she hustled big time after a loose ball, picked it up and went on a breakaway for a layup. The play put the Jackets within three at 18-15. The Cedarville native followed it up with a triple to complete a five point run on her own and tie the game at 18.
Cedarville forced an Oiler timeout when they went up 23-20 after yet another 3-pointer from Johnting. It was her 13th point of the night only halfway through the second quarter.
The Lady Jackets were riding high at this point, especially after a big three-point play from sophomore guard Allison Mader with four minutes to play to put Cedarville up 29-23. The play was sandwiched by three triples from sophomore guard Emily Chapman, who contributed nine points in the second quarter.
Cedarville went into the locker room up 35-29.
The Oilers came out making a quick five point run that included their first triple of the game to tie it at 35 and force a Cedarville timeout. The Jackets responded with a well-played four point run of their own. It was back and forth from there, though Cedarville managed to keep a consistent lead for the entire quarter.
Johnting seemed to make every shot she took in the third quarter, doubling her point total and contributing 13 of Cedarville’s 17 points. The Jackets were up by a decent margin going into the fourth quarter at 52-45.
The Oilers shut Johnting and the rest of the Jackets down early in the fourth, pushing to a tie at 54 then going up 58-53 with a minute and a half to play.
Huffman pushed the Jackets within two at 58-56, but the Oilers answered going to 60. The Oilers put up just two more plays in the last two minutes than the Jackets, and they just couldn’t get back in, falling 64-56.
The Jackets travel to Ohio Valley this Saturday, Feb. 29, for their last regular season game. This will be the two team’s second meeting this season, the last of which went to Cedarville 78-52.
The G-MAC tournament will begin on March 3.
Hoffman says, “I think going into March, the best basketball is yet to be had.”
Abigail Hintz is a sophomore journalism major and Digital Editor for Cedars. She loves reading, playing Spikeball with her friends and watching soccer 24/7.