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Grit and grind

January 20, 2018 GMT

La PORTE — Riley Ott shot 8-for-24 in Friday night’s come-from-behind victory at Slicer Gym against in-conference rival Michigan City, but all anyone is going to remember is the dirty work she did to clinch at least a share of the Duneland Conference regular season title.

Ott missed the front end of the one-and-one bonus with under 10 seconds left and La Porte clinging to a 59-57 advantage over their nearby rivals. She gathered her own miss, made two more free throws and sealed the fifth win in the last seven outings for the Slicers (14-4, 6-1 DAC).

"This is our third game in a row where we’ve had to come from behind," Slicers’ coach Rob Walker said after his team’s dramatic four-point victory. "We’ve got the clientele that can really respond in the fourth quarter."

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It’s La Porte’s first DAC crown since the 2013-14 season.

After giving up 21 points in the third quarter and falling behind as many as 11 points to the Wolves (10-9, 2-5 DAC), the Slicers fought back and scraped their way through a fourth quarter that saw them outscore the Wolves, 18-10.

"We’ve got good free throw shooters," Walker said. "We didn’t shoot well overall, but we hit the ones down the stretch. [Janelle] O’Neal came up with some big rebounds and she held her own. I think you can only slow Hannah [Noveroske] down, but Keatyn Boren came in, and she’s only play limited varsity action this season, and I thought she gave Hannah enough problems to slow them down and then hold them off in th end."

O’Neal grabbed a massive offensive rebound inside of the final 20 seconds, drew Noveroske’s fifth foul and hit two clutch free throws to give the Slicers a 59-58 lead, which opened the door for the eldest of the Ott sisters to slam the door shut.

"We did a great job on her, but Riley’s just a hell of a player. She just is," Wolves’ coach Mike Megyese said. "She’s going to make plays because that’s who she is."

Although Megyese and the Wolves left a hostile enviroment with a crushing defeat, the coach was proud of their kids for the effort throughout the night.

"I congratulate La Porte on the conference title (share). The better team tonight did not win," Megyese said. "We beat ourselves tonight. They’re a great team, don’t get me wrong, but we had a couple turnovers and a couple ill-advised shots late, but I don’t feel the better team won tonight. We were the better team tonight and it’s unfortunate the way it ended."

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La PORTE 61, MICHIGAN CITY 57

Michigan City`16`10`21`10`—`57

La Porte`10`18`15`18`—`61

Michigan City (10-9)

Hannah Noveroske 10 0-1 14, Janicia Anderson 10 3-6 13, Molly Heath 5 0-1 8, Lavonya Pointer 2 4-5 8, DeNaya Hall 6 2-2 7, Joani Ashley 11 1-4 5, Shellaya Miller 5 0-0 2. Totals — 41 10-19 57.

La Porte (14-4)

Riley Ott 24 8-13 24, Janelle O’Neal 14 5-9 11, Ryin Ott 14 2-3 9, Kayla Jones, 7 2-4 7, Madison Pierro 12 1-2 6, Nyla Asad 4 1-2 3, Nichole Flowers 2 1-4 1. Totals — 81 21-37 61.

3-point shooting — Michigan City - 3-9, La Porte - 3-12 (MC: Miller - 1, Heath - 1, Miller - 1, LAP: Jones - 1, Ry. Ott - 1, Pierro - 1). Rebounds — Michigan City - 47, La Porte - 38 (MC: Noveroske - 16, Anderson - 14, Heath - 6, Pointer - 4, Miller - 3 Ashley - 2, Goodall - 1, Hall - 1, LAP: Ri. Ott - 10, O’Neal - 9, Ry. Ott - 9, Jones - 4, Pierro - 3, Asad - 2, Boren - 1). Assists — Michigan City - 13, La Porte - 6 (MC: Miller - 5, Goodall - 3, Hall - 2, Heath - 2, Noveroske - 1, LAP: Ri. Ott - 3, Pierro - 2, O’Neal - 1). Blocks — Michigan City - 11, La Porte - 2 (MC: Noveroske - 6, Anderson - 2, Heath - 2, Goodall - 1, LAP: O’Neal - 1, Ry. Ott - 1). Steals — Michigan City - 4, La Porte - 15 (MC: Ashley - 1, Hall - 1, Heath - 1, Noveroske -1, LAP: Ri. Ott - 7, Pierro - 2, Asad - 2, Jones - 2, O’Neal - 1, Ry. Ott - 1). Turnovers — Michigan City - 26, La Porte - 8. Fouls — Michigan City - 25, La Porte - 15. Fouled out — MC: Noveroske.

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