Freshman shoots two game-winning shots


Ana Crangle, Staff Writer

In the game of basketball, coaches, mentors and players alike will agree that success comes from two places: mental toughness and muscle memory. Luckily, last week  the Lady Blue Devils and rising star freshman, Ashlyn Severns, had both. 

Picture this: 20 seconds left on the clock. The Lady Blue Devils trail the Rough Riders by two. Kent shoots hoping to extend their small lead and misses. Rushing down the court, three of Tallmadge’s freshmen, Mia Zappola, Ashlyn Severns, and Lexi Gray, battled to even the score. Without hesitation, Zappola passed to Severns on the right wing, who then banked in a three-pointer with 13 seconds left. The gym was left stunned and Kent had very little time to recover. Tallmadge had won. 

“This was my very first time shooting a game-winning shot, which just gave me so much confidence going forward, especially being a freshman on varsity,” Severns said. 

While this three-point masterpiece left the Lady Blue Devils and Severns with confidence, their second game against Kent, just four days later, boosted their confidence even more. 

  “So I was definitely nervous for Kent the first time around because I’ve seen a lot of the girls play before. Obviously the second time we played them I was even more nervous because it was our home court and they were out for blood so I knew we had to come out strong,” Severns said. 

Come out strong they did. Although the team struggled in the first half, the fourth quarter yet again remained the Devil’s sweet spot. Down by thirteen points, the bench and rookie head coach Joe Leonard stood optimistic. With ten seconds left in the game, the Devils had finally chipped away at the score enough to possibly secure the win. Leonard called a timeout after sophomore Maya Dexter made her foul shots. A careful trick play was drawn up for Dexter to score an easy layup off the inbounds pass. However, the Rough Rider’s coach was aware of the Devil’s point guard talent and decided to pin all of his defense on Dexter. Due to this, Dexter was not able to get up a shot but Zappola was. The ball, however, bounced off the rim at the last second. Again without hesitation, Severns was able to grab the ball and make a layup, winning the game for Tallmadge once again. 

This was the shot heard ‘round the league. Members of the Tallmadge community and many others tuning into the game were left stunned, again, at the freshman’s determination for one single shot. Another game-winning shot against the same team in the span of four days.

Severns said, “I was definitely more excited when I shot the layup because as soon as it happened the game was over and they had no chance to come back, whereas the first game we had to still work for it the last 13 seconds.”