COLUMBUS, Ohio — No. 10 Gates Mills Gilmour Academy defeated No. 6 Versailles 58-56 to win the 2017 OHSAA Division III Girls Basketball State Championship on Saturday at the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Saturday’s victory marked the first OHSAA Girls Basketball State Championship for Gates Mills Gilmour Academy.
The back-and-forth game that featured ten lead changes came down to the final possession. With 2.5 seconds remaining, Gilmour (24-5) was inbounding underneath their own basket and attempted a deep pass that was intercepted by the Tigers. After intercepting the pass, Versailles was unable to get a good look at a game-winning shot attempt and the Lancers triumphed.
Postgame, coach Bob Buetel didn’t seem surprised that his team was able to pull out the victory amid the late-game chaos. “I had a lot of confidence in these kids and what they would do in any moment presented to them on the court,” said Buetel. “We prepared extremely hard all year for this moment, [the team] made the most of every lesson to be learned throughout the season, and I can’t be proud of these girls.”
Northeast Lakes District Player of the Year Naz Hillmon was the center of the Gilmour offensive attack, and proved to be too much inside for Versailles to handle. Hillmon finished the game with 24 points on 11-for-17 shooting and 17 rebounds including seven on the offensive end. This impressive performance followed a semifinal game where Hillmon posted another double-double, 16 points and 16 rebounds. Guards Sarah Bohn and Emily Kelley finished with double-digit scoring outputs for the Lancers, as well.
Versailles (26-4) had a balanced attack on offense, as all five starters finished with at least seven points. Junior forward Danielle Winner led the Tigers in scoring and rebounding. Winner finished the game with 13 points and eight rebounds, six of the eight being offensive rebounds. Guards Kami McEldowney and Camille Watren both joined Winner scoring in double-figures.