By Rob Kiser
Call Sports Editor
The Houston boys basketball team lost a heartbreaker to Fort Loramie Saturday in a Piqua-D-IV sectional final Saturday night at Garbry Gymnasium 58-57.
In another Shelby County League thriller of teams playing for the third time, Craig Fullenkamp made one of two free throws on a foul called 30-feet from the basket with 2.7 seconds to to to give the Redskins the win.
Houston had taken a 56-55 lead with 31 seconds to go on 3-point shot from Nate Ritchie, before Devin Braun scored to give Loramie a 57-56 lead.
Houston, who was just five of 11 from the line in the fourth quarter, made one of two free throws with 6.7 seconds left to tie the game and set up Fullenkamp’s game-winning free throw.
Loramie had jumped out to a 17-6 first-quarter lead, but by halftime Houston had cut the deficit to 30-26.
A basket by Evan Winner, followed by a Jake Braun dish to Jesse Phlipot had given Houston a 41-36 lead late in the third quarter.
Houston maintained the lead until the final two minutes, setting up a dramatic finish.
Winner finished with 18 points for Houston, while Phlipot had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Braun added 12 points.
Grant Olberding had 23 points and eight rebounds for Fort Loramie.
Devin Braun added 16 points.
Houston was 17 of 42 from the floor for 40 percent and 18 of 25 from the line for 72 percent.
Fort Loramie was 22 of 48 from the floor for 46 percent and 11 of 19 from the line for 58 percent.
Houston won the battle of the boards 26-23 and had 11 turnovers to Fort Loramie’s 10.
Tipp D-IV District
TIPP CITY — It was a tough day for three local teams at the D-IV Southwest District tournament Saturday at Tippecanoe High School as Russia, Bradford and Covington all saw their seasons end.
Felicity-Franklin 52, Russia 48
The Lady Raiders dropped a heartbreaker after an impressive rally in the final three minutes had almost pulled out a win.
Lauren Heaton’s three had given Russia a 25-20 halftime lead, but the second half was a struggle.
With 4:05 remaining, Russia trailed 43-34 before a furious rally.
Kylie Wilson had two baskets, including an assist from Heaton — and when Tiffany Hatcher hit a three and Heaton stole the ball and scored the game was suddenly tied at 45 with 1:30 remaining.
After a Felicity free throw, Maria Herron hit a three to put the Lady Raiders up 48-46 in the final minute.
But, the Cardinals scored six straight points to end Russia’s season at 16-8.
“I am proud of the girls,” Russia coach Tim Hatcher said. “We got off to a late start this season and we came a long way. We just missed too many layups and free throws. If you don’t shoot at least 60 percent from the line, you are going to struggle at this level.”
Herron led Russia with 12 points, while Wilson had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Heaton added 11 points and five rebounds, while Claire Sherman pulled down six boards and Maggie Kearns had five.
Ashley Moore had 21 points and eight rebounds for the Cardinals, while Kelsey Arkeneau scored 10 points and Brittany Drake grabbed 11 rebounds. Moore hit eight of nine free throws in the fourth quarter.
“Give Felcity credit — they handled our length well,” Hatcher said. “We knew exactly what they wanted to do — dribble-drive and penetrate. And how many jump shots did we make them shoot — two or three.”
Russia was 17 of 54 from the floor for 31 percent and seven of 16 from the line for 44 percent.
Felicity was 15 of 36 from from the floor for 42 percent and 22 of 29 from the line for76 percent.
The Lady Raiders won the battle of the boards 29-26 and had 18 turnovers to the Cardinals 19.
“Hopefully, this will light a fire under these girls in the off-season to get back here,” Hatcher said.
Fort Loramie 82, Bradford 45
The Lady Railroaders were making their first-ever appearance in the district tournament and faced the defending champs.
And while the season ended — it was a historic one as the Railroaders closed 20-6.
“It was an amazing season,” Bradford coach Patrick McKee said. “We had always been bottom of the barrel in the CCC or close to it. We showed it could be done. We knew we were a good basketball team. We set the standard.”
And Bradford stayed close for a quarter.
With Brooke Dunlevy scoring 12 points in the opening quarter, the Lady Railroaders trailed just 18-16.
“I told the girls if we could have stopped their transition three, we would be up by seven,” McKee said. “And you couldn’t ask much more than that.”
Fort Loramie outpointed Bradford 33-5 in the second quarter to open a 51-21 lead and the Railroaders never recovered.
“We did some things that were uncharacteristic of us and they took advantage,” McKee said.
Brooke Dunlevy led Bradford with 21 points.
Darian Rose had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds for Fort Loramie.
Jessica Boerger added 13 points and six rebounds, while Kelly Turner scored 10 points.
Renae Meyer added nine points and seven rebounds.
Bradford was 20 of 44 from the floor for 45 percent and five of nine from the line for 55 percent.
Fort Loramie was 26 of 56 from the floor for 46 percent and 11 of 14 from the line for 79 percent.
The Lady Redskins won the battle of the boards 36-24 and had nine turnovers to Bradford’s 18.
“We lose some good seniors,” McKee said. “But, we don’t want to just be as good next year. We want to be better than this year’s team. We are establishing a program.”
Fayetteville 57, Covington 24
The Lady Buccs overcame adversity to get to the district tournament — but the unbeaten Rockets proved to be too much.
“I think everybody in our group believed we would be here — in spite of the injuries and adversity we have had,” Covington coach Craig Maschino said. “But, I don’t think there were many people outside our group that believed it.”
Covington had lived on its 3-point shot throughout its tournament run — and the Lady Buccs hit five Saturday.
But, Covington made only one two-point shot and was below 50 percent from the line.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well — from the floor or the line,” Maschino said. “Give Fayetteville credit. They came out and were physical with us. But, our defense is a key for our offense — and I just didn’t feel like we had the intensity today. And they did a good job taking away our penetration.”
At the same time, Maschino knew the 13-13 season was just a start.
“We re-set the standard again,” Maschino said. “The kids were already motivated — but this is definitely motivate them to get back here.”
Arianna Richards and Carly Shell led Covington with six points each.
Brooke Gostomsky grabbed eight rebounds, while Heidi Cron and Cassidy Cain both pulled down seven.
Makayla Rosselot scored 22 points for Fayetteville, while Megan Eyre added 18 points and seven rebounds and Lincoln Smyth had nine points and nine rebounds. Alex Carson added eight points.
Covington was six of 41 from the floor for 15 percent and seven of 17 from the line for 41 percent.
Fayetteville was 21 of 63 from the floor for 33 percent and 10 of 14 from the line for 71 percent.
Covington won the battle of the boards 35-34, but had 22 turnovers to Fayetteville’s nine.
Versailles 63, Georgetown 20
SPRINGFIELD — The Lady Tigers cruised to a district title at Springfield High School.
Versailles will play Miami East at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday in a Springfield D-III regional semifinal.