by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
New Hope bounced back from Friday’s loss in the semifinals to take third place in the Ohio Christian School Athletic Association state tournament with a 67-50 win over Temple Christian.
“Winning this game propels us into the offseason and wanting to work in the offseason,” New Hope coach Brian McCallister said. “The last two years I’ve had a bad taste in my mouth after losing in the finals. This is a good opportunity to finish on a high note. It is third place, but you get to end on a win.”
Leading the way in Saturday’s game played at Ohio Christian University was junior Jenna Tripp who had four of her eight three-pointers in the first quarter as the Statesmen got out to a 22-14 lead. She ended the afternoon with a game-high 28 points.
“When Jenna gets hots, she’s a shooter,” McCallister said. “She’s put the work in and shoots thousands of shots in the summer. When you get her an open look at the basket, she can shoot it.”
McCallister said he felt bad after getting on her for taking a quick shot late in the game.
“I never want to keep her from shooting, so I had to go apologize to her,” he said.
Junior Maren McCallister finished as the game’s second-leading scorer with 26 points, including 13 in the second quarter. With 51 points in the two OCSAA finals game this weekend, McCallister completes her junior year with 1,165 career points — good for the 29th spot on the area’s all-time scoring list.
Savannah Anderson is the lone senior on this season’s eight-person roster. So the Statesmen should be bringing back a strong core of players and will be working to get the numbers on the roster up.
“The last two years we’ve had seniors come to us from somewhere else. We’re always in prayer for who that extra person is going to be because we’re going to need more,” coach McCallister said. “Next year we’re going to have four who will be seniors, which we haven’t had in a while. But there always seems to be somebody.
“We’ve got a couple girls walking our halls who probably should have been playing this year and we’re working on getting them back. So, hopefully our numbers will be up next year and we’ll have a good offseason.”
New Hope Christian Academy 67, Temple Christian 50
New Hope — Jenna Tripp 10-0-28, Eden Leist 3-3-9, Maren McCallister 8-9-26, Kayla Winner 1-0-2, Ivy Hines 1-0-2. Three-point goals — Tripp (8), McCallister. Total — 23-12-67.
Temple Christian — Ashlynn Knepshield 2-3-7, Evelyn Day 2-0-5, Mia Smith 6-5-19, Makayla Westbrook 2-0-5, Rachel McKenzie 2-0-5, Kailyn Richards 0-1-1, Maleah Kurtz 3-0-8. Three-point goals — Day, Smith (3), McKenzie, Kurtz (2). Total — 17-9-50.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
New Hope Christian 22 18 12 15 67
Temple Christian 14 9 16 11 50