CUYAHOGA FALLS OH- South Range was ready to go Saturday for their first regional championship in program history. They fell in a hard fought game to Elyria Catholic 51-37.
The Raiders jumped out to a impressive start, much like their semifinal win against Champion. They forced turnovers, and jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the first frame. Elyria calmed themselves down quick though and ended the quarter on a 5-0 run to only trail 11-9 after a quarter. The Panthers has 8 seniors on their roster, and this was their third straight regional championship. That experience helped them out a ton in moments where most teams would panic. Their defense, especially down low gave the Raiders problems in the second quarter. Lexi Giles hit a couple threes in the frame to save the Raiders from a disasterous halftime deficit. Instead, it was only three, 22-19.
Out of the half Elyria would create the separation they would need. The Panthers put together a 7-0 run out of the break to go up 29-18. With the way the Panthers were playing defense, 11 points felt like 20. However, the ever resilient Raiders scrapped back to close the quarter on a 10-4 run and make it 32-28 heading into the 4th. Elyria once again pushed forward to start the final frame. They got their lead back up to 9, but Izzy Lamparty gave the Raiders a four point swing grabbing an offensive rebound off a missed second free throw, putting in the bucket, and hitting the foul shot with it. It cut the Panther lead to 41-36. Unfortunately that was the Raiders last gasp as Elyria used a flurry of free throws towards the end of the game to go on a 10-1 run.
Izzy Lamparty led the Raiders with 13 points. Lexi Giles hit three treys and finished with 12. Bree Kohler was also in double figure with 10.
The Raiders end their season with a 21-7 record, and earn their first regional finalist trophy as a program.