SPRINGFIELD — Anna senior point guard Ella Doseck has been a steady scorer since her freshman year, but that hasn’t been without encouragement from coach Jeff Maurer.
“She’s one of the more unselfish girls I’ve coached,” Maurer said. “We’ve been telling her for four years to stop passing the ball to someone else. Take it to the basket, because you’re talented.”
When Doseck got the opportunity to drive to the basket in a Division III regional semifinal against Cincinnati Purcell Marian, she didn’t pass it up. She completed two three-point plays to help lead an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter that cut down a 14-point gap.
The Rockets pulled as close as three points late but couldn’t complete a comeback and lost 49-44 to the Cavaliers on Wednesday at Springfield High School. The squad, which beat Purcell Marian 40-39 in a regional final last year, finishes 18-8 overall.
Kara King made a 3-pointer from the right wing to put the Cavaliers ahead 41-27 with about 4:30 left. But Doseck made a layup 30 seconds and followed with a free-throw after being fouled, then did the same thing with about 3:30 left to cap off an 8-0 run.
“The fact that she can put the team on her back shows how the seniors won a bunch of games in their four years,” Maurer said of Doseck. “I don’t know how many, but it’s a pretty good number.”
The Cavaliers split a pair of free throws to push the advantage to 42-35, but Doseck hit two free throws and senior guard Mary Landis followed with a basket to cut the gap to 42-39.
Kayli Brewer hit a 3 from the left wing with about 30 seconds left to cut the gap to 47-44, but the Cavaliers added two late free throws to secure the win.
Doseck was a first team all-Shelby County Athletic League and Division III all-Southwest Ohio selection this season and surpassed 1,000 career points in the fourth quarter on Wednesday. She led the squad with 21 points. Landis finished with nine and Brewer finished with six.
Aside from Doseck, Anna will lose Landis to graduation.
“You never have to doubt that she’s going to give you 100 percent,” Maurer said. “She puts her body on the line. She’d run through a brick wall if you’d ask her to do that.
“… At the end there, (Doseck and Landis) did everything for us in that third and fourth quarter. They were going to put their bodies on the line, they were going to dive for loose balls, they were going to do everything they could.”
The Cavaliers built an 18-10 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Rockets pulled within 23-16, but Jayda Mosley and Janay Rose made late baskets to push the lead to 27-16 heading into halftime.
Purcell Marian led by as many as 15 in the third quarter before Anna cut the gap to 36-26 heading into the fourth.
“Every time we made a run and felt like we’d gotten the momentum, again hats off to them, because they’d come down and hit a 3 or make free throws and get it back,” Maurer said. “It just felt like we couldn’t get over that hump. We had to start fouling at the end, and they made enough free throws to win.”
King led the Cavaliers (20-3) with 15 points.
Rose, a 6-foot-2 center, led a big height and size advantage for Purcell Marian. Maurer said he was pleased with how the undersized Rockets played.
“We told the girls all week that we’re not going to settle for perimeter shots, but we’re going to attack them,” Maurer said. “If you go in there and get swatted, that’s that, and hopefully we get the ball back out-of-bounds. A lot of the shots she blocked tonight, we got back.”
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.