Harpursville 45, Oxford 38 (OT)
OXFORD – Harpursville proved its team is more than Hannah and Alycia Kimmel, and beat Oxford for the second time this season on the Blackhawks’ home floor in Tuesday’s MAC Division II tie-breaking game.
The Hornets did not give up a point in the overtime period, and received scoring from four different contributors to earn a trip to the league championship game this Saturday against Greene at SUNY Oneonta.
Abby Klutts, the consummate role player on the Harpursvillle roster, hit an open 15-footer off an inbounds pass from Kayleigh Livermore to open the scoring 40 seconds into overtime. Hannah Kimmel put back an offensive rebound with under a minute to play, and Miranda Drummond – just an eighth-grader – hit two free throws before Alycia Kimmel tacked on the final point with 6.3 seconds left.
“They’re a very good team, and they played the best defense of anybody we’ve seen all season,” said Harpursville coach Kurt Ehrensbeck, whose club has beaten Oxford twice this month in tight games – each on the road. “We had a lot of players step up tonight, and all we ask of our players to do is to play as hard as they can.”
Oxford trailed by three in the final minute of regulation when Alyshia Crawford came off a screen and buried a three-pointer to tie the contest at 38-38 with 23 seconds left.
Crawford picked up a steal with seven seconds left on Harpursville’s next possession giving Oxford a chance to win the game. Harpursville, with only three team fouls to that point, fouled Oxford twice in succession killing most of those seven seconds, and Crawford’s long-range three at the buzzer was just off the mark.
“That was a big-time three for Alyshia and it was just a senior making a play,” said Oxford coach Chris Palmer. “You have to give Alyshia a ton a credit, that was a great play for anybody. I only wish we had a little more time on the clock (after the turnover). I think we could have drawn up a play to win it.”