Lady Raiders find a way
Heroes abound as Lomega erases 16-point deficit to win area
If the Class B area championship game was a heavyweight boxing match, Leedey was landing massive uppercuts and devastating crosses.
Lomega, meanwhile, could only counter with the jab for much of the night.
Yet, somehow, enough of those jabs landed the Lady Raiders right back into the Class B state tournament.
Despite trailing by as many as 16 points in the second half, No. 2 Lomega mounted a comeback, forced overtime and escaped Woodward High School’s gym with a 77-75 victory.
“It was a wild night,” Lomega coach Kevin Lewallen said.
“(Leedey) shot lights out and we just had to keep fighting.
“Fortunately we had several different ladies step up for us.”
That includes the likes of Chloe Meier, who hit two massive 3-pointers in the third quarter as her team began the march back.
The sophomore then made two clutch free throws with 22 seconds left in overtime to turn a one-point deficit into a 76-75 lead.
On the other end, Lomega’s trap forced an errant pass that Darcy Roberts picked off.
She made one of two free throws and Leedey didn’t get a good look at a potential game-tying or winning shot after its timeout.
Meier’s go-ahead free throw and Lomega’s subsequent stop on the other end marked about the only time the Lady Raiders were able to sustain a lead.
Dayce Danielson and Brin Boatman combined to give Lomega big headaches. Danielson scored 11 in the first quarter as the 11thranked Lady Bison got on top 18-12.
It was Boatman’s turn in the second quarter as she scored half of her team’s 20 points as Leedey amped its lead to 38-28.
Keeping Lomega in it was senior post Sydni Walker. She scored 11 points in the second quarter alone.
“Sydni was good all night,” Lewallen said.
But Walker also faced foul trouble and had to miss big chunks of the second half.
Among those stepping up in her absence was Hadley Ott.
Her three 3-pointers in the third quarter - along with Meier’s two - helped Lomega pull within 54-51 by the end of the quarter.
She added another trey in the fourth, but Leedey still led by four points and had the ball with 2:00 to play.
Ott struck again, this time on defense as she swiped a pass. After being fouled with 1:55 to go, she made one of two foul shots to make it a 66-63 Leedey lead.
The Lady Bison were able to go up five points with 90 seconds left, but didn’t score again in regulation.
Back in the game, Walker scored in the post to pull her team within one possession again.
After a timeout, Leedey missed two free throws and Darcy Roberts made two after being fouled on the rebound.
Her shots pulled Lomega within 68-67 at the 1:12 mark.
Lomega’s press forced a turnover and Meier tied the game with a free throw at the 1:05 mark.
“Our defense wasn’t great overall, but our pressure helped us force 20 turnovers, which was big,” Lewallen said.
When Leedey turned it over again, Roberts was able to get a hurried, but good look from the baseline, but missed as the regulation buzzer sounded.
The overtime was backand- forth.
Abby Swart drained a 3-pointer with 1:41 left, her first since the first period, to put Lomega up 72-70.
Leedey tied it up, but the Lady Raiders answered right back when Roberts fed Walker for a bump off the glass and a 74-72 advantage with 1:13 remaining.
AveryCearlock’s3-pointer with 50 seconds left put the Lady Bison back in the lead by one.
After the teams traded turnovers, Swart missed a 3-pointer, but Walker somehow wrangled away the rebound.
With four green jerseys surrounding her, Walker bounce passed around two of them and through the lane to Meier, who was fouled to set up her huge foul shots.
Meier scored all 12 of her points after halftime, as did Ott with her 13 points.
Swart scored 11. Meanwhile, Walker notched 22 points.
“We don’t win without any of them,” Lewallen said. “Hadley and Chloe made some huge shots in the second half and Monse Rivera was big on defense for us.”
Boatman and Danielson scored 22 each for the Lady Bison, who came back the next night to beat Arnett and advance to state.
Leedey is coached by Cashion alum Luke Broadbent.
“It was a crazy night,” Broadbent said of the loss to Lomega. He added that the Lady Bison didn’t blink when having to defeat Arnett the next night for the second time in a week.
“But my kids are so young, I don’t think they’re scared of anything.”
The win puts Lomega (27-2) into state for the 36th time in its storied history.
The Lady Raiders have won a girls’ record 15 state titles. They won the Class B crown in 2020 and 2021 and were runners-up to Pittsburg last year.