The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

December 4, 2013

Lady Rams squander 18-point halftime lead vs. Cleve Hill

HS GIRLS BASKETBALL: Medina falls at Oakfield-Alabama

Staff Reports
Medina Journal-Register

MIDDLEPORT —

MIDDLEPORT — It was a track meet from the get-go on Tuesday evening, with Roy-Hart and Cleveland Hill running up and down the court and putting up points in bunches. The Lady Rams took an 18-point halftime lead, 42-24, before Cleveland Hill mounted a frantic late-game rally.
 
Unfortunately for coach Don Baker and the Roy-Hart squad, Cleveland Hill came up with a few big plays late that pushed the verdict in the Lady Eagles' favor. Cleveland Hill junior Sydney Turley made a brilliant up-and-under move for a basket with 32 seconds remaining to give her team the lead, and the Lady Eagles held on for a 73-67 victory in the season opener for both teams, a non-league game on Tuesday night at Roy-Hart HS.
 
"We had some foul trouble in the second half, and we sent them to the line a bit too much," Baker said. "We've got to do a better job at rebounding and boxing out, and we need to limit our turnovers. But for the first game, it was pretty well-played."
 
Indeed it was. After Cleveland Hill took a 17-16 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Rams used a 26-7 spurt to build a commanding halftime lead. Roy-Hart used a consistent press that was well-executed all around, and junior Taylor Fry took advantage of her athleticism by forcing turnovers and quickly getting the ball out into transition.
 
The result was a huge second quarter for the Lady Rams, capped off by a 60-second stretch at the end of the half where Fry had two steals that directly resulted in baskets, in addition to two other assists.
 
"In the second quarter, we started pressing more, and we got into a rhythm," Baker said.
 
But the Lady Eagles came out of the break strong and cut the lead to 55-43 at the end of the third quarter, thanks in part to a few costly turnovers by Roy-Hart. Cleveland Hill kept coming in the fourth quarter and started making most of its shots — and when the Lady Eagles missed, they tended to come up with the offensive rebound.
 
Roy-Hart started to struggle to make a shot, one thing led to another, and the lead was just 65-62 with two minutes to play. A Cleveland Hill steal and lay-in made it 65-64 at the 1:30 mark, and freshman Aviance Clark gave the Lady Eagles the lead on a bank shot with just over a minute to play.
 
On the next possession, Lady Rams senior Morgan Jones grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on the put-back, giving Roy-Hart the lead again at 67-66 with 48 seconds remaining. But Cleveland Hill responded with Turley's incredible move, and the Lady Rams suffered a bitter defeat.
 
"We like to play fast-paced, but sometimes we get ahead of ourselves," Baker said. "For our first game, though, it was alright. We will get better."
 
Senior Becky Harnish led Roy-Hart with 13 points, while Fry had 12. Sophomore Emma Lindke and senior Morgan Jones added 11 points apiece for the Lady Rams, who fall to 0-1 on the season. Cleveland Hill improves to 1-0.
 
Oakfield-Alabama 48, Medina 26
 
OAKFIELD — Coach Ken Haak's young Medina squad opened its season with a non-league road test at Oakfield-Alabama on Tuesday evening, and the Lady Mustangs struggled. Freshman Emily Kams led Medina with seven points, but the Lady Mustangs fell by a 48-26 margin.
 
Maddy Winters scored five points for Medina, while adding 12 rebounds. Molley Gross tacked on four points as well, while amassing an impressive total of 16 boards.
 
Nicole Blount added five points for Medina, Taylor Miller had four, and Brittany Button had one.
 
Medina returns to action on Thursday, traveling to Pembroke for a 7 p.m. contest.
 
Barker 27, Kendall 21
BARKER — Making a quick turnaround from field hockey season, the Barker girls basketball team opened its season strong with a 27-21 comeback win over visiting Kendall on Monday evening.
 
After being shut out in the third quarter to fall behind by a 15-13 margin, the Lady Raiders came up big with a 14-point fourth quarter to pull away for the victory. Olivia Denny and Caitlyn Mason led Barker with eight points apiece, while Morgan Brown added four.
 
Kendall's Nicole Browe provided the only scoring of the third quarter with a three-pointer, after Barker had opened up a 13-12 advantage at halftime. Browe led all scorers with 11 points.
 
Kendall took a 20-19 lead midway through the final quarter on a three-pointer by Shelby Reis, but the Lady Raiders quickly responded to take the lead for good on a two-point jumper by Melissa Grosshans.
 
Barker is now 1-0 on the season, and coach Jeff Costello's squad is off until its Niagara-Orleans League opener against Newfane next Friday.
 
BOYS BASKETBALL
 
Albion 74, Elba 69
 
ELBA — The Brennan Meakin era of Albion boys basketball began in exciting fashion, as the Purple Eagles outgunned Elba in a non-league thriller on Tuesday evening.
 
Manny Thompson led the Purple Eagles with 18 points, while Des Blackmon added 17. Ryan Fannin had nine points, and Connor Barleben chipped in eight.
 
The game was tight all the way through, and Meakin was pleased with his team's effort to start the winter season in victory fashion.
 
"We had a well-balanced attack, and we got on the glass," Meakin said. "We hit our key shots, and we made our free throws when we got to the line."
 
Tonawanda 65, Roy-Hart 48
 
TONAWANDA — Alex Stoddard led Roy-Hart with 19 points, but coach Mark Rydza's Rams dropped their season opener in Tonawanda, in a non-league contest on Tuesday evening.
 
Tonawanda jumped out to a 36-25 advantage at halftime, maintained a 48-38 edge after three quarters and held on for the 17-point victory.
 
Cody Breedlove added 11 points for the Rams, who fall to 0-1 on the young season.