COLUMBUS — The best season in Elyria Catholic girls basketball history ended Friday with a heartbreaking loss.
The Panthers (24-3) held a double-digit lead in the first half, but watched No. 1-ranked Oak Hill claw all the way back and hold on for a 53-49 win in the Division III state semifinal at Ohio State’s Value City Arena.
Kelsey Burton made a lay-in off a deflection with about 90 seconds left to give Oak Hill a 48-44 lead. The Oaks had taken a 46-44 lead with 3:36 left on a Taylor Hale drive. The Panthers never got even again.
Ashley Schuster’s free throws continued to give the Panthers a chance, but the Oaks (25-0) were also clutch at the line.
The seventh-ranked Panthers, who’d never made the state Final Four, led 31-18 at halftime, but the Oaks won the third quarter 21-7 to steal the lead and the momentum.
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