WOOSTER -- Loudonville's fine girls basketball season ended in heartbreaking fashion Saturday after a heartbreaking 51-50 loss to Doylestown Chippewa in the Division III district final at Wooster.
The Redbirds concluded the campaign with a 20-5 record and a n undefeated mark in the Mid-Buckeye Conference. But the 'Birds were oh-so-close to adding a district title to the trophy case, too.
Coach Tyler Bates watched his squad rush to a 12-8 first-quarter lead thanks to a 9-3 run. Loudonville stretched the advantage to 24-15 in the second period before settling for a 26-21 halftime bulge over the top-seeded Chipps (23-1).
But Chippewa turned the tide in the third quarter, forging a 36-36 tie heading to the final eight minutes. The Chipps reeled off the first eight points of the stanza and hung on from there as the Redbirds missed some critical free throws and a couple of key shots down the stretch. Loudonville's Nikki Weber canned a trey at the buzzer to account for the final score.
Celeste Ryman scored 18 points to top the Redbirds. Weber had 17, including nine in the fourth quarter.
Junior Celina Koncz poured in 25 points, 19 in the second half to help Chippewa reach the regional tournament. The Cipps will play Warren Champion in Wednesday's Cuyahoga Falls regional semifinal at 6:15 p.m.