Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — Turnovers proved to be too much to overcome for the No. 2 Albion Lady Purple Eagles in a 52-48 loss to the No. 10 Iroquois Lady Chiefs Thursday in the Class A-2 quarterfinals.
“It was just bad decisions,” Albion coach Lucian Price said following the game. “That’s the biggest thing. We’re still learning and we just got to be confident in our ability to handle pressure.”
The Lady Purple Eagles were able to overcome the abundance of turnovers in the first quarter as they jumped out to an 18-11 lead. Iroquois played a tough second quarter to cut Albion’s lead down to five. The score going into half was 27-22.
The Lady Chiefs came out of the locker room at halftime playing a very tenacious brand of basketball. They put up 18 points in the third quarter, continued to force Albion turnovers and came up with timely rebound after timely rebound.
“They just worked hard, hustled and wanted it,” Price said about Iroquois’ effectiveness on the glass. “All effort, that’s what rebounding is, all effort.”
Colleen Wirth’s nine of her team-high 16 points came in the third quarter and helped Iroquois claim a 40-37 lead heading into the final 8 minutes.
Albion clawed back all fourth quarter and was able to tie the game up at 48 with 31.9 seconds left, but gave up an Iroquois layup the ensuing possession to fall back behind by two. With 10.2 seconds left, the Lady Purple Eagles inbounded the ball but stepped out of bounds and gave possession back to Iroquois.
Iroquois sophomore Marissa Parker was intentionally fouled on the next inbounds play and sunk both free throws to seal the 52-48 win.
Junior Ejayah Arrigton contributed 13 points for the Lady Chiefs while Parker had 10 and junior Calista Mis had five. Junior Grace Desanto scored four, and seniors Camille Wutz and Jillian Walczyk each had two. Iroquois scored three 3-pointers in the game, one each by Arrington, Wirth and Mis.
Three players scored in double figures for Albion. Freshman Chanyce Powell led the team with 16, sophomore Kelsee Soule had 14 and junior Sarah Metzler had 10. Junior Justice Nauden’s six and freshman Emily Blanchard’s two rounded out the scoring for the Lady Purple Eagles, who failed to knock down a 3-point basket.
With only one player graduating from Albion’s varsity squad at the end of this year, it will head into the offseason looking to build on the 12-7 campaign it had in 2013-14.
“Just keep your head up, stay positive and grow from this experience,” Price said will be the message to his team. “I’m looking forward to next season.”
Iroquois will now move on to play in a semifinal matchup Wednesday hosted at Kenmore West. Start time will either be at 6 or 7:30 p.m.