By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
LANCASTER — After the Edison State Community College women’s basketball team earned its second NJCAA national tournament appearance with a win over Lakeland Community College Saturday in the NJCAA Great Lakes South District Championship game Saturday by taking an 80-76 thriller at Ohio University-Lancaster, how did Lady Charger coach Tim McMahon spend Sunday evening?
“I am watching the tape of the game right now,” McMahon said. “I want to see what actually happened. You know, everything is kind of a blur right now.”
McMahon was an assistant coach for the 2006-07 team under coach Kim Rank that advanced to nationals the first time.
And as this season progressed, he knew exactly what the 20th-ranked Chargers were going to have to do.
Beat Lakeland for a second time in two weeks — no easy feat considering Lakeland had only lost two games all season and came in angry.
Lakeland had won the first meeting earlier in the season, before Edison topped the Lakers 91-73 a week ago to earn a share of its first OCCAC title.
“We had talked about it for a couple weeks,” McMahon said. “We knew it would (come down to Edison State and Lakeland).”
The Lakers were fired up after the regular season loss and the game did not disappoint.
“It was close the entire game,” McMahon said. “it was a great game. I guess the third quarter was the big quarter. We outscored them by five. Every other quarter was even or there was a one-point difference.”
Even after Edison rallied from a 36-35 halftime deficit to take a 60-56 lead after three quarters, the Chargers had to come from behind.
The Chargers were down three with 3:30 to go when tournament MVP Brogan McIver drained a 3-pointer to tie it.
“This just tells you about Brogan McIver,” McMahon said. “She had shot an air ball, we got the offensive rebound and she drained a 3-pointer from the corner to tie it. That was huge.”
Allison Siefring hit two free throws to give Edison the lead. Lakeland tied it, before McIver hit another three to give the Chargers the lead and hit a couple free throws down the stretch.
“Brogan (McIver) just hit big shot after big shot down the stretch,” McMahon said. “And we switched to a diamond press. That was big because we were able to force several turnovers.”
Lakeland finished 25-3, with two of the losses to Edison State — while the Chargers improved to 28-3.
McIver had 19 points in the game and hit seven of eight free throws.
Maddy Bakosh turned in a strong floor game with 15 points, six assists and four steals.
Allison Siefring added her second double-double of the tournament with 13 points and 10 rebounds, to go with three assists.
Sarah Pothast had nine points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Mariah Baker had 10 points off the bench and Elysabette Andrews added nine.
Audra Schaub added six points and three assists.
Armani Jackson had 28 points and 18 rebounds for Lakeland, while Gianna Pegoraro added 25 points.
Edison State was 26 of 59 from the floor for 44 percent — including nine of 21 from long range for 42 percent. The Chargers made 19 of 30 free throws for 33 percent.
Lakeland was 26 of 73 from the floor for 36 percent, including six of 22 from 3-point range for 27 percent. The Lakers made 18 of 26 free throws for 69 percent.
Lakeland won the battle of the boards 41-40 and had 16 turnovers to Edison State’s 22.
In the semifinals on Friday, Edison had cruised to an 86-60 win over Cuyahoga, who closed the season at 17-10.
Siefring had 23 points and 14 rebounds for another double-double — while going a perfect 3-for-3 from long range.
Bakosh filled out the stat sheet with 18 points, five assists and three steals and was 5-for-8 on 3-pointers, while Pothast also had a double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.
Baker had a big-game off the bench with 12 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Schaub scored 11 points and Rebekah New added seven.
Edison was 28 of 66 from the floor for 42 percent, including 14 of 26 from long range for 54 percent. The Chargers made 16 of 22 free throws for 73 percent.
Cuyahoga was 26 of 68 from the floor for 38 percent, including four of 21 from long range for 19 percent. Tri-C made four of 14 free throws for 29 percent.
Edison won the battle of the boards 49-40 and had 15 turnovers to Cuyahoga’s 18.
The Chargers will begin play in the 16-team NJCAA D-II National Tournament on March 17 in Port Huron, Michigan.