Ely’s OT bucket lifts Lady Meteors

Meteor Dallas Ely throws up a layup while Forest City’s Tania Pollard tries to block during Montrose’s 45-43 victory over Forest City at Carbondale on Thursday. PHOTO COURTESY OF ALICE STUFFLE

BY MARTY MYERS

Times-Shamrock Writer

It was far from the game of her life, and both Montrose guard Dallas Ely and head coach Al Smith knew it.

Yet, with the game hanging in the balance, each knew what was coming.

Smith called the play for his junior star and Ely executed to perfection.

Her slicing drive through the Forest City defense resulted in the game’s final basket as Montrose claimed the Lackawanna League Division III championship with a 45-43 overtime win at Carbondale Area High School.

“She struggled,” Smith said. “She had an off night, but she is a gamer. Period.”

Until Ely kissed a 6-footer off the glass with 47 seconds left, she had made just 2 of 20 shots. But what happened an hour, a quarter or even one possession earlier really didn’t matter.

Ely knew what was expected of her, by her teammates and herself.

“I was coming off screens and had to get to the basket,” Ely said. “I had my mind set that I was going and there was nothing they were going to do to stop me. I wouldn’t let that happen. I pictured going to the basket. I didn’t worry about them. I didn’t worry about them blocking me. Whatever happened, happened.

“At the end, I had to block everything out. I had to make this basket. It’s do or die almost.”

It was just the second lead of the game for Montrose, which fell behind 8-0 and played catchup until Sara Krupinski put the Lady Meteors ahead with the first basket of overtime.

“We got down early, we weren’t executing well in the first half,” Smith said. “We were a little nervous. We stayed with it and they fought back, really fought back.”

Freshman Myra Lattimore came off the bench to score 12 points, hitting all four of her shots and going 4 for 4 at the foul line. Her contributions were invaluable on a night when the team shot 33 percent from the field.

“She came in and played outstanding again for a freshman,” Smith said. “I couldn’t be happier.”

Forest City got a great game from Katie Yale, who scored 24 points. Its team defense also pressured Ely wherever she went.

“We played a great game, we played great defense and I think we played really well,” said Forest City senior Cassie Erdmann, who scored 10 and grabbed 10 rebounds. “We just fell a little short.”

Forest City got a good look to tie the game, but freshman Carly Erdmann’s driving 8-footer rattled around and out with two seconds left.

“We knew Forest City was a very good team and they played Dunmore and a lot of quality teams and played them tough,” Smith said. “That’s a big win for us. It’s a quality win.”