Heading into the championship game, both teams were coming off immensely contested upset victories against top competition. Lincoln Prep was considered the underdog in the match-up due to their seeding but as shown in the previous round, any team was very capable leaving the floor as the victor. In the regular season both teams split the series but it was TRC who nabbed the most recent 60-51 win over Lincoln on their home floor.
It was a blazing hot start for Lincoln Prep who opened the game by sinking four bombs from behind the arc on their way to a 12-2 start. With two of them coming from Hanna Hall, it clearly did not take much time for her to find holes in TRC’s defense and exploit them for open shots. Meanwhile, TRC often found themselves a lane to the basket in transition but struggled to convert on their attacks, which eventually mounted to several possessions without a score. It wasn’t long before they were down by 15 points as Lincoln continued to find a way to get their shots to fall. When TRC finally made a 3 pointer and looked to affirm their offense, Hall simply responded with another pair of threes to bring her 1st quarter total to 14 points. At that point Lincoln Prep had a 16-point lead with a score of 26-10.
The 2nd quarter provided a much-needed fresh start for TRC as they came out with a 6-0 run and continued to chip away at Lincoln’s lead cutting it to 10 points. As time passed their offensive pace began to slow down but they seemed to finally be able to match the pace played by TRC. Lincoln’s offense was not scoring as efficiently but they were still a threat on every trip down the floor. Although TRC made a few runs and got within 8 points, Aiden Rainford was an anchor for the Lincoln defense and she made life difficult by blocking shots and keeping her matchups far away from the basket. The game was physical and bodies were hustling to the floor for every loose ball with neither side wanting to waste a single possession. Nonetheless, Lincoln once again caught fire late in the quarter and were able to put some distance between them and TRC Academy who were slowly creeping back into the picture.
Leading 39-26 to begin the 2nd half, Lincoln appeared to have a firm grip on the game yet a few crucial turnovers and missed shots gave TRC the opportunity to trim the deficit back down to 8 points. Both sides exchanged baskets but TRC was unable to crack the 8-point barrier until Taya Hanson converted a 3-pointer to get within 7, 38-45. Her score shifted the momentum and before long the gap was almost completely erased. TRC fought their way to the line and they converted much-needed free throws to put the pressure on Lincoln Prep. This 8-0 TRC run saw them only trailing by a single possession and although they could not take the lead before the end of the frame, TRC was back on the right track after containing Lincoln to only 6 points in the entire 10 minutes.
With the first score of the 4th quarter, TRC managed to tie the game at 45 and the momentum looked to be in their corner. Unfortunately, Lincoln was quick to dispel any chance of their comeback and responded with three rapid baskets to retrieve their lead. Their run steadily progressed and TRC found themselves right back where they started. TRC was unable to defensively adjust to Lincoln’s impressive run and found themselves down 51-62 with three minutes left in the championship game. Time was evidently running out to regain the lead and while they managed to get a few baskets to fall, they continued to struggle stopping Hanna Hall from navigating her way around the court to find open teammates and hitting shots from downtown. In the end, Lincoln Prep generated a huge separation and they closed out the game with a 71-54 victory to be crowned as the 1st OSBA Girls Champions. Hanna Hall was named the OSBA Finals MVP with an impressive stat line of 24 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists and 6 steals.