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Putnam County’s Daniela Pavlovich (No. 11) goes up for a layup while being guarded by Peoria Christian’s Jordan Myroth (right) in Thursday’s Tri-County Conference game in Granville. Down by one with 1.9 seconds left and the TCC regular season title on the line, Peoria Christian’s Taylor Myroth blocked Putnam County’s game-winning shot attempt. NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
GRANVILLE — Daniela Pavlovich and her Putnam County girls basketball teammates came out with a chip on their shoulders Thursday.
After losing to Peoria Christian by 27 points in the Tri-County Conference Tournament title game Jan. 23, the Lady Panthers were motivated to have a better showing in their regular season finale.
“I feel like we came out a little mad that they beat us that bad last time because we knew it wasn’t supposed to be like that,” Pavlovich said. “So we tried to make it more of what a crowd would like to watch and what we like to play. I think we did that.”
They certainly did.
The Lady Panthers pushed the Lady Chargers to the end — and had a chance to win in the final seconds — but fell 44-43 in a game that determined the TCC regular season champion.
“We showed up,” Putnam County coach James Barnett said. “We did not show up last time we played them. It was that simple. They played a very good game last time we saw them, so when you put the two together, you get what we had a couple weeks ago.
“But we came out (Thursday) and we were ready to play, but we had a few mental lapses in there and we made a few more mistakes than what they did, and at the end of the night, they came away with a one-point victory.”
The Lady Panthers had a chance to pull out the victory after Peoria Christian’s Taylor Myroth made just 1-of-2 free throws with 6.8 seconds left.
Putnam County pushed the ball across midcourt and called timeout with 1.9 seconds remaining.
Out of the break, the Lady Panthers inbounded to junior post Allison Voss near the basket, but Taylor Myroth got over to block the shot at the buzzer.
“It was all about misdirection because we knew who the focus was going to be on,” Barnett said. “They weren’t going to give Daniela an open shot and we knew they’d be focused on Carly (Gonet). I thought we could get that backside, and we got it. Like I told the girls, in that situation, players make plays, and Taylor went over and she made a play. That’s all you can say about it.”
Pavlovich made a few plays to give the Lady Panthers an opportunity to win.
After the Lady Chargers took a 41-35 lead on a three-point play by Taylor Myroth with 2:27 left, Pavlovich drained a contested 3-pointer on an assist from Stephanie Wilson on the ensuing possession.
Following a Peoria Christian turnover, Voss pulled Putnam County within three at 43-40 on an assist from Gonet with 45.3 seconds to go, and following another Peoria Christian turnover, Pavlovich drained another long ball to tie the game with 16.6 seconds left.
“We came out in something we don’t use very often. We threw that zone at them because it allows us to try to keep the ball out of their main ballhanders’ hands,” Barnett said. “We can get up and pressure them. They can pass it out and we can deny and trap somewhere else and try to make them make mistakes.
“It worked to kind of speed them up because they’ll pull it out and hold it for 2-3 minutes if you let them. We got the ball out of their hands and it allows Daniela to go down and make plays. She showed up and made those plays down the stretch for us.”
Pavlovich finished with a game-high 21 points for the Lady Panthers (19-5, 5-1 TCC), who led 16-15 after the first quarter and 24-23 at halftime before going into the fourth down 35-31. Voss added 10 points and six rebounds.
Taylor Myroth, who scored 31 in the TCC Tournament final, finished with 17 points for Peoria Christian (6-0 TCC), including nine in the fourth. She also had nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while Jordan Myroth had 14 points.
Notes: The second half was delayed for about five minutes because Putnam County was locked in its locker room. … Putnam County won the sophomore game.
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.
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