St. Ignace trails by 20, forces overtime then defeats Pittsford, 64-60, for Class D final
East Lansing – When St. Ignace fell behind by 20 points in the third quarter against Pittsford, coach Dorene Ingalls knew that in order for her team to have a chance, they would need the help of a little magic.
The Saints erased that 20-point deficit and forced overtime before pulling out a thrilling 64-60 overtime victory to claim the Class D title, tying a record for the largest comeback in state-final history.
The only other team to come back in 1987 when Detroit Cass Tech came back from 20 points down against Saginaw to win, 52-51.
“Just that something magical was going to have to happen,” Ingalls said. “And it did, one play at a time. I thought the kids were doing everything one at a time. One basket, one possession, one defensive stop and different kids stepped up at different times.”
St. Ignace narrowed that 20-point deficit to just eight after three quarters.
The Saints clearly had the momentum. Senior guard Margo Brown hit a deep 3-pointer to cut the deficit to five to open the fourth and then a Jane Edelman 3-point play made it 48-46 with 6:29 left to play.
Ingalls said that when her team got the deficit down to single-digits, she was feeling better about her team’s chances and pointed to Brown’s 3-pointer as the big momentum shift.
“As soon as we got it under double digits, things started getting better and better,” she said. “You could just feel the momentum in the whole building shift and as soon as Margo hit that 3-pointer, I think (Pittsford) went really tight, but we just kept going and going. That takes a lot of grit.”
The two teams would exchange baskets down the stretch until Pittsford grabbed a 54-51 lead on a Morgan Domique bucket.
St. Ignace would tie the game at 54-54 on an Edelman basket and an Ostman free throw with 34 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
In overtime Ostman got the Saints out quickly as she registered consecutive scores to give her team a 58-54 lead.
Ostman finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds to lead the way for the Saints and Brown added 19 points.
“I felt like my teammates we trying really hard, so I knew I needed to step up and help them,” said Ostman, who had 21 points after halftime. “Because I know that they’re all here to give it their all.”
The Saints never trailed in overtime, but Pittsford tied the game, 58-58, up on a pair of free throws from Maddie Clark.
St. Ignace got late free throws from Natalee Lee, Brown and Ostman to seal the win.
Pittsford got off to a hot start to the third quarter, with five quick points coming by way of Jaycie Burger, and two more from Emily Poling.
Pittsford coach Chris Hodos said his team shot a higher percentage in Saturday’s final than it did in Thursday’s semifinal win and that was a big key in gaining the big lead.
“We shot bad on Thursday,” he said. “My top two 3-point shooters were 2-for-25 in the game. I knew we were going to shoot better and we knew they were going to make a run. We played the best in the state and went toe to toe with them.”
Pittsford was led by 14 points from Laura Smith, whose three 3-pointers in the first quarter gave her team breathing room. Burger added 13, Domique had 12 and Clark had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
EDITOR’S NOTE: You can see the highlights from this game on Sunday at 9 a.m. on Fox Sports Detroit.