Motter named Tournament MVP as women's basketball concludes play at Wilmington's Fred Raizk Memorial

Maleha Motter

WILMINGTON, Ohio – The Hanover women's basketball team had five players score in double figures, but the offensive effort was not enough in an 88-77 setback to Wilmington (Ohio) Sunday afternoon in the Fred Raizk Memorial Tournament championship.

The Panthers (2-2) produced five double-digit scorers for the first time in 14 games, dating back to Jan. 20, 2018. However, a .366 shooting clip, compared to the Quakers' .470 field goal percentage, set Hanover back Sunday in the Wilmington-hosted event.

Junior Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) continued her strong start to the season with her fourth double-double. Motter tallied a season-high 22 points to go along with 14 rebounds and two assists. The junior also scored 10 of the team's 18 points in the second quarter.

For her efforts, Motter was named the tournament's most valuable player. In two games, the junior averaged 17.5 points and 15.5 rebounds per contest.

Adding a season-high 15 points was senior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.). Cromer netted the additional eight points for HC in the second quarter, as she also added two assists in the game. Overall, the Blue and Red had six players with multiple helpers.

Despite the scoring from Motter and Cromer, Hanover fell on the wrong side of a 32-18 second quarter decision. After trailing by just two points after the opening period, HC found itself down 54-38 at the intermission.

The Panthers did own an early lead in the first half, as a 13-4 run, capped by a jumper from junior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.), had HC in front 15-11 with 3:40 remaining in the opening quarter. Wilmington (3-1) though, produced a 15-2 run over a four-minute stretch in the second period to help ignite its halftime advantage.

The Quakers would open the second half with five quick points to take their largest lead of the contest at 21 points, 59-38, with 8:10 showing on the third quarter clock. Hanover though, rallied to pull within 13 points at the quarter's end, as five points from senior Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.) helped produce a 10-3 scoring spurt. The Blue and Red trailed 67-54 heading into the final 10-minute session.

Wilmington held a comfortable advantage early in the fourth but a three-pointer from Chezem at the 8:00 mark had HC within 10 points, 69-59. The Quakers however, would rattle off a pair of quick treys en route to extending the lead back to 20 points.

The Panthers continued to claw throughout, as a three-point field goal from Hartman followed by a three-point play from Motter had HC within single digits, 86-77, with 1:33 left to play. Time would eventually run out on the Blue and Red though, as they fell 88-77.

Adding to the scoring with 10 points apiece were Chezem, Hartman and junior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.). Chezem scored eight of her 10 points in the second half, while Hartman tallied eight points during the fourth quarter comeback attempt. Nall and Hartman each added four rebounds in the game, while Chezem pitched in with two boards, two assists and two steals.

Hanover will look to bounce back when the team welcomes Spalding (Ky.) to Collier Arena for its home opener Wednesday, Nov. 28. The Panthers and Golden Eagles are slated for a 7 p.m. start.

Contact: Tyler Jester