It took another tremendous individual effort to eliminate the Newark Catholic High School girls basketball team from the Division III district tournament.

It took another tremendous individual effort to eliminate the Newark Catholic High School girls basketball team from the Division III district tournament.

In a game reminiscent of last year's second-round setback against Heath, the Green Wave couldn't overcome a 33-point effort by Liberty Union's Krista Mathews in a 59-58 loss in the second round last Tuesday at Delaware.

Mathews scored 20 points in the second half as the Lions charged back from a 33-27 deficit, and she made two free throws with 12.1 seconds remaining to cap the comeback.

Moments earlier, teammate Britney Barwick had a steal and layup to trim what had been a five-point Newark Catholic lead to just 58-57. Liberty Union trailed 31-19 at one point in the second quarter as senior Kendra Blair scored 13 of her team-high 15 points in the first half for Newark Catholic.

Last year, Megan White also put up 33 points as the Bulldogs sent the Green Wave home with a 55-39 loss.

"This was a lot like that game. We just didn't have an answer for their scorer," coach Matt Schmelzer said after his team finished 14-8 overall with a strong nucleus returning led by junior Lauren Blair and sophomores Tia Brown, Erin Sims and Katie Harrington. "Those 33 points (by Mathews) were the difference in a game like this. We just couldn't stop her."

Two more of Licking County's top teams also dropped second-round games last Tuesday.

Seeded fourth in Division II, Utica fell 58-51 against first-year Hilliard Bradley at Dublin Scioto, where the Redskins played from behind almost the entire game. They evened the score at 27-all during the third quarter, but the Jaguars were near perfect in defending leading scorer Abbie Corbett, the district Player of the Year who was averaging 18.7 points. Corbett had 11 assists, but she managed only two points and didn't have a field goal. Tamra Londot picked up the slack with 26 points and 17 rebounds.

"It would have been a huge confidence-builder for us if we could have grabbed the lead at some point," said coach Michelle Snow, whose team finished 18-3 overall and shared the MBC title for the fourth time in five years with five seniors in the starting lineup, including Corbett and Londot. "We got it tied up, but we just couldn't get over the hump."

Meanwhile, Granville let a seven-point third-quarter lead slip away in a 59-55 overtime loss against third-seeded Eastmoor Academy at Watkins Memorial. Lacie Buckey had a tying 3-pointer with 22 seconds remaining in regulation on her way to a team-high 19 points. The Warriors forced 26 turnovers, however, including five in overtime as the Blue Aces finished 15-6 overall. Buckey, a junior shooting guard, also contributed five assists and four rebounds.

Granville went 12-2 in the MSL-Ohio Division to share the title for a second consecutive season, this time with Heath. Among others, the Blue Aces also return juniors Kimberly Seidell and Rachael Newkirk and sophomore Ellie Crawford. Newkirk had 14 points and eight rebounds facing Eastmoor's formidable interior defense, and Crawford had six assists.

"I think it shows where this team is and what we have coming back," second-year coach Sue Borchers said.

Also, Newark finished 9-13 overall with a 45-35 setback against fifth-seeded Columbus Northland in a Division I sectional final last Wednesday at Hilliard Davidson.

The Wildcats went 0-for-14 on 3-point attempts, but sophomore guard Reed Huffman scored a game-high nine points while freshman post Paige Cashin and junior post Tanadra Spivey added eight and seven, respectively. Newark graduates only one senior in Liz Barnhart.

"Next year, boy, look out," junior guard Chelsea Steen said after the Wildcats opened the postseason with a 47-23 win over Central Crossing on Feb. 18. "We'll have a lot back, a lot of experience we can learn from."