CHARDON—Mayfield entered Wednesday’s Western Reserve Conference game at Chardon as a slight favorite thanks to a No. 7 ranking in the News-Herald’s Top of the Crop but it was the Hilltoppers that came away with a 53-50 win.
In all reality, the game came down to a duel between Chardon’s Sydney Feller and Mayfield’s Catherine Rock. Feller finished with a game-high 29 points while Rock scored 23 for the Wildcats.
“Ultimately, we made the shots we needed to make and we got the stops we needed to get and we came away with a win,” Chardon coach Cullen Harris said. “When you have the chance to upset a program like this that was ranked ahead of us, on our home court with two starters out, that’s a huge thing for us to pull off that upset.”
Feller scored 11 points on three 3-pointers and a pair of free throws in the first quarter as the Hilltoppers jumped out to a 14-11 lead. Not to be outdone, Rock scored 10 points in the first half to help the Wildcats take a 28-27 lead into the break.
Chardon then went on a 10-2 run that started near the end of the third quarter and carried over into the fourth to pull away from the Wildcats, 47-39.
“We turned up the intensity a little bit and tried to get out in transition,” Harris said. “When teams are keying on Feller, one of the ways you can combat that is push the ball in transition and make them mark in transition. Sometimes what happens is two go to mark and you give up the lane for a layup.”
The Wildcats responded with an 8-0 run of their own to pull to within 47-45 with just over three minutes remaining in the game.
Despite connecting on just 4-of-13 free throws in the fourth quarter, Chardon made several key plays down the stretch to seal the win.
“You go from being up one at halftime and you want to keep it within a possession or two going into the fourth quarter,” Mayfield coach Ryan Looman said. “To allow them to do that, and especially the way they did, they were getting to the hoop and making layups and they had a couple of foul shots there, we had to get a stop and we couldn’t. Not only could we not get a stop but we were giving them extra possessions and they started getting 50-50 balls and doing all the little things you need to do to win a tough game.”
Rock scored eight points in the fourth to make it interesting but Feller’s performance throughout the game was too much for the Wildcats to overcome.
“A key going into the game for us was we knew we had to limit what Sydney was going to do. You can’t let her score 29 points and expect to win,” Looman said. “Chardon played a good game. You come here, on the road, you can’t let them get too far away from you. Tonight, we were a possession away from really being able to take that final step in the last couple of minutes to try and get over the top.”
Danni McCartney and Lindsey Nichols both contributed to the win with six points while Katelyn Kinczel finished with 12 and Juls Consolo added seven for Mayfield.
Chardon improved to 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the WRC while Mayfield dropped to 7-3, 3-3.
Chardon 53, Mayfield 50
Mayfield (7-3, 3-3): Rock 23, Kinczel 12, Consolo 7, Peterson 5, Nicolli 3
Chardon (6-4, 4-2): Feller 29, McCartney 6, Nichols 6, Koppelman 4, Noerr 3, Liechty 3, Pastor 2
Mayfield 11 17 9 13 — 50
Chardon 14 13 14 12 — 53
Free throws: Mayfield 11 of 15, Chardon 10 of 21; 3-pointers: Mayfield 5 (Kinczel 2, Consolo, Rock, Nicolli), Chardon 5 (Feller 5); Rebounds: Mayfield 26, Chardon 30;