The Gahanna Lincoln High School girls basketball team won its third Division I district championship in four years March 2, outlasting Pickerington North 49-46 at Jonathan Alder.
Gahanna improved to 22-4 and will play Olentangy Orange in a regional semifinal at 8 p.m. March 6 at Otterbein University. The winner will play for a regional title at 7:15 p.m. March 8 at the same site. North finished 17-9.
Senior guard Quiera Lampkins scored 16 points and senior guard Chrishna Butler added 10 for the Lions, who led 39-27 halfway through the fourth quarter before withstanding a furious Panthers run. Sophomore guard Emily Thomas hit two 3-pointers and senior guard Christy Macioce added a 3-pointer with 16 seconds to play to cut Gahanna’s lead to 47-46.
Lampkins hit two free throws with 11.6 seconds left and North twice failed to get off would-be game-tying shots. Junior forward Brittany Johnson was called for an offensive foul with 2.7 seconds left and Macioce was unable to launch a 3-point attempt as time expired.
“We tried not to give them any 3s,” Gahanna coach Rick Hauser said. “We tried to make them go to the basket more. The only one who consistently drove to the basket was Thomas. That was the plan, to chase them off the line and cut down their 3s.”
The Lions, who won district titles in 2010 and 2012, defeated the OCC-Ohio Division rival Panthers in a district final for the second consecutive year. Last year at Hilliard Davidson, Gahanna won 63-46 to snap North coach Dave Butcher’s string of 23 consecutive district titles.
Thomas’ game-high 17 points, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter, paced Pickerington North.