Minutemen need overtime to defeat Village Christian for fourth time this season.
The Maranatha and Village Christian high school girls basketball teams share a lot of recent history. They’ve already had three meetings this year, with Maranatha winning all three times, including a triple-overtime thriller in Liberty League play on Jan. 18.
Add Saturday night to the list of thrillers and to the list of victories for Maranatha.
The Lady Minutemen topped Village Christian 55-46 in overtime to advance to the Division V-AA championship game for the first time.
The difference Saturday was freshman Mian Dingle, who scored four points after Maranatha trailed 43-39, including a short jumper with 20 seconds left, to force overtime.
“The shot from (Dingle) made all the difference in the world,” Village Christian coach Brian Gibson said.
Dingle and Natasha Herring had 14 points apiece to lead Maranatha.
In the huddle and down by four, Maranatha coach Annie Miller told her team: “If you think it’s over, it’s over.”
Thanks to Dingle, it wasn’t.
“They went out there and they showed their true character and heart, and I’m thrilled,” Miller said.
Maranatha’s height inside gave Village Christian problems. Senior Alex Dill, Village Christian’s main inside presence, fouled out with three minutes left in overtime on a play Gibson said was the difference in the extra period.
“We had our opportunities and we didn’t capitalize on them,” he said.
Maranatha (24-5) led for the majority of the second half, but Kris Cotangco’s layup and free throw gave Village Christian a 39-38 lead. Cotangco and Dill led Village Christian with 10 points apiece.
The fourth victory also secures Maranatha’s first trip to the championship game.