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Girls Basketball: South finishes regular season

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By Sam Draut

It wasn't pretty, but South Oldham girls basketball grinded out a 54-46 victory over Presentation in its final game of the regular season. After what South Oldham coach Gene Heffington called a “lackadaisical” ending the first half, he challenged his team to play with more effort and determination.

“We picked it up in the second half,” Heffington said. “We put a little more emphasis and a little more pressure than normal. We didn’t want to treat it as just another game.”

Payton Herold had 19 points and 11 rebounds while Skylar Sahatjian finished with 16 points and four assists. Maggie Smith added five points. Lexi Bowlden had seven rebounds and four points. 

Shooting 36.5 percent from the field, South Oldham never distanced itself from the visitors after leading by three possessions early in the fourth quarter, but made enough plays in the closing moments to take its sixth win in the past seven games.

Brooke Short made a layup on an assist from Herold with 54 seconds left to give South Oldham a two possession lead, 51-46. On the following Presentation posession, the Dragons forced a defensive stop and Herold rebounded the ball and was foul.

After making her first free throw, Herold missed her second shot, but rebounded the ball and sent in a put-back to seal the victory. Herold said she was in the right spot at the right time for the basket that put South Oldham ahead 54-46.

“Luckily Maggie [Smith] tipped it, I don’t know how she got to it,” Herold said. “When I got the ball, I knew it was my shot and I put up a floater in the lane.”

Midway through the first quarter, Sahatjian made a shot from behind the arc to give South Oldham a 9-2 lead. The sophomore knocked down another 3-pointer just over a minute into the second quarter to stretch the Dragon lead to 19-9, but Presentation answered with a 10-0 run to tie the score.

Presentation held South Oldham scoreless for nearly six minutes before Lexis Von Feldt made a free throw with 1:06 left in the first half that allowed South Oldham to retake the lead. Von Feldt added a basket late in the quarter as the teams went into halftime tied 22-22.

Sahatjian finished with 11 points in the first half. The guard attributed some of her early scoring to the team’s morning shootaround prior to the game, something the Dragons usually don’t get to do because of school.

“It definitely helped me,” Sahatjian said. “I got lots of shots up.”

After the Dragons scored on their first two possessions of the third quarter, Presentation reeled off several baskets to take a four-point lead. Both teams began to heat up and trade scores. Holland and Sahatjian each hit 3-pointers, but Presentation took a one-point lead with 1:13 left in the period.

Smith made two free throws on South Oldham’s final possessions of the third quarter to give the Dragons a 39-38 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

Herold opened the fourth quarter with 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to extend South Oldham’s lead to 45-38, forcing a Presentation timeout. Despite falling behind by three possessions, Presentation trimmed its deficit to one when Jaelin Thompson made a 3-pointer with 3:48 left.

South Oldham is scheduled to begin postseason play next week in the District 29 semi-finals against Trimble County hosted at North Oldham.