GLOUSTER — South Webster coach Ryan Dutiel said he has a special player in senior Bri Claxon.
“For people that don’t see her very often — they think maybe that was just a one time — that’s her every day,” Dutiel said. “She can totally dominate a game and she did today. She just took over and carried the team on her shoulders.”
Claxon and the Jeeps ended Trimble’s unbeaten start to the season with a 58-56 win on Saturday afternoon inside William White Gymnasium.
Claxon lived up to the billing as one of the top players in the Southeast District.
She scored 36 points on 14-of-27 shooting and carried the Jeeps down the stretch.
Claxon, who is signed to play collegiately at Division II Gannon University, scored 14 points in the final quarter, making five of her seven field-goal attempts in crunch time.
“She’s a good player,” Trimble coach Joe Richards said. “When they get in that zone like that, it’s tough sometimes.”
The Tomcats fall to 13-1 after losing for the first time this season.
South Webster (11-4) has losses to South Gallia and Notre Dame — two teams the Tomcats have already beaten this season — but rose to the occasion in Glouster.
“We felt like coming in today that we needed to win this game for tournament seeding, which comes up a week from today (Saturday),” Dutiel said. “That’s definitely going to help our resume quite a bit.”
The Tomcats led for the majority of the game, and were ahead by nine points in the second quarter, but couldn’t gain enough separation from the Jeeps.
South Webster trailed 42-37 late in the third quarter, but scored eight points in a row to lead 45-42 early in the fourth after consecutive pull-up jumpers for Claxon.
The Tomcats would push back against South Webster, but the Jeeps held the lead the rest of the way behind Claxon.
She got a pass from Faith Maloney and scored inside for a 47-44 lead with 4:38 remaining.
Claxon pushed the lead to 49-46 when she drove into the paint, stopped on a dime, and hit another jumper
South Webster went ahead 51-46 with 3:31 left — after Claxon’s steal and fast-break layup.
At that point, the Jeeps were on a 20-8 run, with Claxon accounting for 14 of those points.
Richards felt like Laikyn Imler was providing good defense against Claxon, but she was simply making shots.
“A couple times in the fourth quarter we ran a second girl at her,” Richards said. “Maybe I should have done that a little sooner. That’s on me.”
Even with Claxon’s offensive onslaught, the Tomcats had chances to tie the game or potentially take the lead in the final minute.
Emily Young dished a pass to an open Jayne Six in the paint.
She powered through a foul to score with 40.7 seconds left, cutting the Jeeps’ lead to 53-52.
Six missed the free throw, however, and South Webster maintained the advantage.
It led to Claxon making two free throws for a 55-52 lead with 30.6 seconds left.
Trimble turned the ball over on a traveling call the next possession, but Claxon missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Young then was fouled and made two free throws to cut South Webster’s lead to 55-54 with 19.3 seconds to play.
Skylar Zimmerman’s defense would deny Trimble a final chance at the comeback.
The Tomcats trailed 56-54 after Bella Claxon split a pair of free throws with 13.9 seconds left.
Out of a timeout, Trimble attempted to inbound the basketball, but Zimmerman came up with the steal.
She quickly found Bri Claxon, who was fouled and made two free throws for a 58-54 lead with 9.3 seconds left.
“We were just wanting to keep them in front of us and Sky gambled on that pass right there,” Dutiel said. “It was kind of a lazy pass out to the corner and she timed it just perfectly. That was huge for us. That was probably a turning point late in the game.”
Richards said they were looking to get a screen for Imler, then let her drive to the basket to either score or find an open shooter.
The opportunity never materialized after Zimmerman’s steal.
“It comes down to execution there,” he said. “We’ve got to work on more situations, that’s what that tells me.”
Jaylee Orsborne scored on a putback for Trimble, but less than five seconds remained.
The Tomcats were out of timeouts, and the Jeeps let the clock run out, celebrating a huge win on the road.
Bella Claxon added 10 points for South Webster, while Zimmerman added nine points.
Maloney only scored three points, but had 14 rebounds, four blocks and three assists.
The game was tied at 16-16 after one quarter, but Trimble was in position to take control in the second.
A quick 7-0 run gave the Tomcats a 23-16 lead.
They still led 29-20 after Lydia Beha’s basket with 2:34 left in the first half.
The Tomcats didn’t score again in the half, with Bri Claxon scoring the final six points to pull South Webster to within 29-26 at halftime.
It was a sequence Richards pointed to afterwards, as the Tomcats missed a chance to potentially take a bigger lead into the break.
“Briana (Orsborne) got her second foul, so we thought maybe we could have her sit and they made it 29-26 at half,” Richards said. “That was a big six points.”
Trimble still led 38-31 in the third quarter, before Claxon and the Jeeps made their winning push.
Young led Trimble with 20 points, with Briana Orsborne chipping in 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Jaylee Orsborne also had 10 points, five rebounds and three steals.
SOUTH WEBSTER 58 (11-4)
Faith Maloney 1 1-2 3, Bri Claxon 14 7-9 36, Bella Claxon 3 3-6 10, Skylar Zimmerman 3 2-4 9, Riley Raynard 0 0-0 0, Makayla Raynard 0 0-0 0, Kennedy Murphy 0 0-0 0; TOTALS 21 13-21 58; 3-point field goals: 3 (Bri Claxon, Bella Claxon and Skylar Zimmerman 1 apiece)
TRIMBLE 56 (13-1)
Jaylee Orsborne 4 2-4 10, Laikyn Imler 3 0-0 6, Briana Orsborne 3 2-4 10, Emily Young 7 6-6 20, Jayne Six 3 0-1 6, Riley Campbell 0 0-0 0, Lydia Beha 2 0-0 4; TOTALS 22 10-15 56; 3-point field goal: 2 (Briana Orsborne 2)