MOUNT VERNON — They didn’t look sharp doing it, but the Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets got the job done Thursday.
The girls basketball team never gave up the lead despite a furious fourth quarter rally by Olentangy Liberty. The Jackets hung on for a 43-38 victory at The Hive for their first sectional championship in nine years.
The win is Mount Vernon’s 13th at home this season, a record for any basketball team — boys or girls — in Mount Vernon history.
“That was one of our goals, going undefeated at home,” said Mount Vernon head coach Doug Savage. “That’s very hard to do. They were able to accomplish that.”
The Jackets (21-2) led for all but the first four minutes of Thursday’s sectional final, but they never pulled away, either. They took the lead by closing out the first quarter on a 7-0 run to mount a 10-6 lead at the buzzer.
The lead grew to 10 points in the fourth quarter, but the Patriots scored six straight points to cut the lead to 37-33 with three minutes to go. Later, Emily Perry found Madison King for a 3-pointer to cut the lead to three with 46 second left.
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Bill Davis/News Mount Vernon’s Rachel Parks looks past Olentangy Liberty’s Melissa Veerman (35) to score in the first quarter of Thursday’s Division I sectional final. The Yellow Jackets won, 43-38. Purchase
Bill Davis/News A Mount Vernon fan in a chicken suit dunks the basketball during halftime of the girls’ sectional final between Mount Vernon and Olentangy Liberty at The Hive on Thursday. Purchase