Photo by Bill Davis Mount Vernon’s Rachel Parks, top, is lifted in the air while celebrating with teammates following her team’s 58-48 victory over Olentangy in Monday’s Ohio Capital Conference game. Parks scored 15 points to seal the victory and the OCC title for the Yellow Jackets.
MOUNT VERNON — What a difference a year makes.
Photo by Bill Davis Mount Vernon fans try to distract Olentangy’s Kelly Meade while she attempted free throws during the first half of Monday’s Ohio Capital Conference game. The Braves shot 4-for-11 from the line in the first half.
Photo by Bill Davis Mount Vernon senior Emily Nussbaum (20) knocks the ball away from an Olentangy player during the fourth quarter of Monday’s Ohio Capital Conference showdown. The Yellow Jackets won, 58-48, to win the OCC Capital Division championship.
Photo by Bill Davis Mount Vernon head coach Doug Savage
Last season, the Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets were knocked out of sectionals in a 45-point defeat at the hands of the Olentangy Braves.
On Monday, the two teams squared off again, with the outright Ohio Capital Conference title at stake. And this time, it was the Braves who were turned away.
Mount Vernon had runs of 9-1 and 18-3 in the first half, then never lost ground in a 58-48 victory before a packed house at The Hive.
“This was a goal these kids talked about. They wanted it so bad,” said Mount Vernon head coach Doug Savage. “And I wanted it for them.”
Only three days prior, these same two teams met — with much different results. Olentangy stifled Mount Vernon’s offense and took advantage of defensive loopholes in a 56-34 shelacking in Lewis Center.
Monday was just the opposite.
Mount Vernon (19-2, 13-1 OCC) slowed the pace down with a four-corner offense that used up clock and frustrated the Olentangy defenders. When the Braves gained possession, they were impatient and tried low-percentage shots.
“At their place (on Friday), they took it from us in the half-court,” said Savage. “Every time we tried to drive it, they would hit the ball and it would be a turnover. So I decided to spread the floor, so we would have more space to drive it into.
“And we knew that, when we got it to the corners, our post girls — Madi (Montgomery), Sammy (Cunningham) and Taylor (Gregory) — would have the advantage and would have a quicker first step to the basket.”
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