The final buzzer has sounded for the Shumate sisters this season. 

Newark High School alums Katie and Emma Shumate both got the chance to represent their schools in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament last weekend. Sophomore guard Emma and the Ohio State Buckeyes hosted their region in Columbus, while senior guard Katie and the Kent State Golden Flashes traveled to South Bend, Indiana for their region.

The 2-seeded Buckeyes played the 15-seeded Maine Black Bears on Friday, March 22. Although the Black Bears kept it close with their three-point shooting in the first quarter, a dominant second quarter from guards Jacy Sheldon and Taylor Thierry put the game out of reach. Emma came off the bench with 2:31 left in the third quarter and played the entire fourth quarter. In her 12 minutes on the court, she scored five points while going 2-6 shooting and 1-5 from three. The final score was 80-57.

In the team’s second-round game on Sunday, March 24, Ohio State faced the 7-seeded Duke Blue Devils. The Buckeyes jumped out to an early 16-point lead in the second quarter, but Duke came storming back, to win the game 75-63. Emma did not see the court as the Buckeyes were eliminated from the tournament.

“When the season ends, you want to walk out of the locker room on that last game like, man, we played great, we gave it our all, they were just a little bit better,” said Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff postgame. “We can’t really say that. Duke deserved to win the game. They played significantly better than we did. I just wish we would have put our best foot forward and we didn’t today.”

In Indiana, Katie and the 15-seeded Golden Flashes faced a tough foe in the 2-seeded Notre Dame Irish on Saturday, March 23. The Irish got out to an early 17-point lead, and never took their foot off the gas, beating Kent State 81-67. Katie gave it her all, leading the game in points with 20 and rebounds with 11. She shot 7-17 from the field, 2-6 from three, and a perfect 4-4 on free throws.

After her final game, coach Todd Starkey raved about the Newark Native.

“Katie Shumate [is] just one of the best competitors I’ve ever coached,” Starkey said. “Katie and I have continued to get along for five years because she hates to lose as much as I do. Her teammates all love her. That’s the most important thing, the type of relationship that these players have formed this year. We have a MAC Championship that can’t be taken away from us, so these girls as sisters for the rest of their lives will be championship teammates.”

The loss was bittersweet for Katie, but she took it in stride. 

“You know, I’m not upset at all about the way we went out,” she said. “We won our MAC Championship, and I got to play with these girls, and I think especially playing here was really fun. It was a great environment. They cheered us out. Great fans here. The girls, getting to play against them, it was a great experience. Every time I get to play with these girls, it was great. So it was a good way to go out.”

Now that her collegiate career is over, Katie is free to speak with agents in hopes of playing professionally overseas. 

“It’s kind of like being recruited all over again,” she explained. “I get to choose an agent and everything. So, I’m a little nervous, but mostly it’s just exciting.”

For Emma, the loss to Duke would be her last game for the Buckeyes, as on Wednesday, she announced on her Instagram that she would be entering the transfer portal. 

In the post, Emma wrote, “I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to play for my home state of Ohio. I am taking some truly invaluable memories and friendships with me. I have decided it is in my best interest to enter the transfer portal.”

Emma’s teammates wished her well in the comment section, as she hopes to make a bigger impact with another team in her remaining two years of eligibility.

Emmet Anderson writes for, the nonprofit news organization of Denison University’s Journalism program, which is sponsored in part by the Mellon Foundation and donationsfrom readers. Sign up for The Reporting Project newsletter here.