Upset Bid By Lady Commodores Falls Short Despite “Best Game of the Season”
by Ken Hoffman
The Lady Commodores played their “best game of the season” according to Head Coach Vince Granito, but the upset bid was overcome by Columbus State, 94-88, in the NJCAA Region XII championship game at Ohio Christian University on Tuesday evening, Feb. 27.
LCCC employed a successful box-and-one defense against Columbus State standout Destiny Wooten, and at one point led by nine points in the first quarter before settling for a two-point deficit at halftime, 49-47.
Sophomore guard Angel Blakely (pictured) scored a team-high 28 points and completed a double-double with 10 rebounds plus six assists and two steals. Sophomore guard Carrie Carlson collected 22 points — 13 in the first half — and added five caroms. Freshman guard Hannah Oehlstrom made 4-of-8 long-range shots in the opening half to score 16 of her 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting, to go along with six boards, three assists and a game-high four steals. Sophomore forward Jasmine White added 11 points and seven rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Wooten finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for Columbus State. Allie Rutter picked up the slack and led CSCC with 15 points in the third quarter on her way to a game-high 39 points, making 13-of-22 shots, including an astounding 9-of-14 (64.3%) from beyond the arc. Shay Rahim turned in a double-double with 19 points and a game-high 18 rebounds.
The Lady Commodores pulled to within two points at 68-66 late in the third quarter on a Blakely drive to the basket topping off an 8-0 LCCC run, but Rutter connected on a big three-point shot with just seconds remaining in the third quarter to bump the Columbus State lead to 71-66 after three stanzas.
Blakely again drove for a lay-up with 3:56 remaining in the game to pull LCCC to within three points at 87-84, but Rahim scored on two inside passes and Rutter added two foul shots down the stretch.
“”That was the best game we played all season, and for the second year in a row, I am happy with how we finished,” coach Granito stated. “We have to rebuild now (losing six of eight players) and Hannah (Oehlstrom) is a good one to build around,” Granito added.
The Lady Cougars had twice defeated LCCC earlier in the season by 21 and 25 points, 76-55 and 80-55.
LCCC ends the season with a 6-22 record. Blakely concludes her LCCC career as the school’s career scoring leader (847) and Oehlstrom (pictured below) finishes her freshman campaign as the school’s single-season leader in Made Three-Point Field Goals (80).