The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

February 4, 2014

Spartans finish off Dragons

Fourth-quarter run propels Conneaut past Lakeside

CONNEAUT — All season, Conneaut girls basketball coach Tony  Pasanen has  pushed his team to step it up. He could not have been happier about what he witnessed in the fourth quarter by the Spartans on Monday night.

The Spartans (5-14) outscored Lakeside 17-2 in the game’s final minutes to secure a 51-39 win over the Dragons (3-15) at Garcia gymnasium.

“This was a great win and a great team effort,” Spartan forward Lexi Zappitelli said. “At halftime, we thought our defense was OK, our offense was keeping us in it. We had to step it up on defense.”

Zappitelli had a game-high 24 points to lead her team.

“It feels good when you score that many, but the win feels a lot better,” the junior said.

Pasanen was feeling pretty good about things, as well.

“I can’t say enough about our team tonight,” Pasanen said. “We’ve been talking all year about taking it to the next level. We’ve grown so much as a team this year, individually we’ve improved skill-wise but we have also had to learn how to play together, how to make in-game adjustments, how to close out games and win together.”

Lakeside took a 3-point lead on a layup from Shaquisse Hunt with less than6 minutes to go in the ball game. From there, the Spartans ran off the final 15 points of the game.

Natalie Bertoiasio scored to get the Spartans back to within a point. Then Zappitelli nailed a 3-ball to put Conneaut in front for good.

Carly Kay followed with an offensive rebound and put-back followed by Zappitelli delivering a dagger — another triple from the top of the key to put the Spartans up 9.

Aside from Zappitelli’s 24, Kay had 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

“What she did for us tonight was unbelievable,” Pasanen said. “That’s what we’ve been missing this year, an inside presence. We’ve been telling her all year the only thing holding her back is confidence. She’s starting to see what she is capable of now and with her on the outside and Lexi and Natalie from the outside, we can be a much better team.”

Frustrated, Lakeside Coach Dave Malone had to watch his team drop another game.

“This game is where we are this year,” Malone said. “We were up at halftime; typically, we come out in the third quarter and dig ourselves a little hole with a turnover or three bad shots or whatever. And then we have to fight to turn it around.

“One problem we face this year is a lack of depth. We started three freshmen, a sophomore and a senior tonight. The problem is we use up a lot of our players during the JV game. In the fourth quarter, you need that energy and we didn’t have it available.”

Lakeside trailed 16-11 after the first quarter, but came back to outscore the Spartans 17-11 in the second stanza to go up by a point at intermission.

After turning the ball over twice in the opening minute of the third quarter and seeing their 1-point advantage turn into a 3-point deficit, the Dragons fought back to outscore Conneaut 9-7, holding a 37-34 advantage going to the final quarter.

The fourth quarter however was dominated by Conneaut, especially at the defensive end.

“In the past, this was a game we could not have won,” Pasanen said. “It took complete team execution and the girls just executed what we needed remarkably. Lexi had the assignment on (Sara) Moorehouse and she held her scoreless in the fourth quarter. Natalie (Bertoiasio), Carly (Kay), Brook, everyone just really stepped it up for us tonight in that fourth quarter.”

Sarah Morehouse led the Dragons with 14 points while Hunt had 9.

Shaffer is a freelance writer from Ashtabula

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Justin Butler Justin time

    It was just four short years ago that Justin Butler was spending his fall on a soccer field.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: ‘Kids’ stuff’ spurs great responses

    I’m often caught more than a bit off-guard by what stories, features or columns generate responses from you, Loyal Readers, much more so than those who do not.
    For example, the column that appeared in this space a couple of days ago regarding things yours truly and my buddies did as kids prompted more than a few responses.
    A sampling, many of which were posted on my Facebook page:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • kyle GANG GREEN

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    THURSDAY, APRIL 17
    Baseball
    Grand Valley at Maplewood (4:30)
    St. John at Lawrence (4:30)
    Mathews at PV (4:30)
    Fairport at Perry (7:30)
    West Geauga at Madison (4:30)
    Harvey at Riverside (4:30)
    Jefferson at Harding (5)

    April 16, 2014

  • Olivia In transition

    Pymatuning Valley graduate Olivia Holt had a distinct reason she chose to play basketball for Mount Union.
    “They do have tradition,” Holt, the daughter of Gus and Michelle Holt, said. “I’m from PV. We had a tradition of winning and working hard there. I wanted to go somewhere that tradition mattered. I knew I was going to get better by coming here.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Spring has sprung one big leak

    Paying a Wednesday morning visit to the variety store...

    Think spring?
    If this, um, err, uh... spring... feels a bit unusual for high school baseball and softball teams in Northeast Ohio, it is, to a point.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    TENNIS
    NON-CONFERENCE
    St. John 4, Euclid 1
    at Pine Lake

    April 16, 2014

  • tennis Scholastic Schedule:

    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16
    Baseball

    PV at Ledgemont (4:30)
    North at Geneva (4:30)
    Riverside at Chardon (4:30)
    Jefferson at Lakeview (5)

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Luke Baldwin Mustang to a Quaker

    As a junior, Grand Valley’s Luke Baldwin got a shot to play linebacker for the Mustangs because of an injury to a starter.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Kids’ stuff but, boy, was it a blast!

    I have no idea why I thought of this, just now, but I did.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Week in Review January 10 and 11
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video