Wizards drop close game to Woodridge

By Walter Doerschuk The Press-News Published:

OSNABURG TWP.-- A slower-paced game Saturday night was one the East Canton High School girls basketball team was looking for against Woodridge.

But the result was not what the Wizards were looking for.

Abbe Esterak's jumper with 50 seconds left in the game and her one free throw 23 seconds later lifted the Bulldogs to a 31-29 win over East Canton.

Wizards assistant coach Matt Flanagan has been filling in for head coach Jennifer Martinez, who is on maternity leave.

Flanagan said his team was able to use the pace to its advantage.

"It was not something we expected," he said, "but it helped in the way we wanted the game to be played."

East Canton held Woodridge to just one field goal in the third quarter. Brianna Payne's stick back off an offensive rebound with 16 seconds left in the third gave her team a 26-20 lead and capped an 8-1 run. The Wizards went into the fourth quarter with a 26-22 lead.

Flanagan was pleased with Payne who finished with a game-high 13 points.

"She stepped in tonight and led the team in scoring," Flanagan said. "She led us with our press breaker and we went to her in the fourth quarter because she had the hot hand."

The Bulldogs outscored East Canton 10-3 in the final quarter to squeeze out a victory. The Wizards weren't able to get a shot to go in the final seconds to tie the game.

Megan Gothard added eight points for East Canton, which dropped to 3-7 with the loss.

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