By ANGELO VELOTTA
For the Star Beacon
ANDOVER TOWNSHIP —
The Pymatuning Valley Lakers defeated the visiting Edgewood Warriors on Monday night at home, 75-30,
Right off the bat, Pymatuning Valley (9-2) showed its defensive abilities. After giving up an early Edgewood basket, the Lakers defense swarmed in, pressuring the Warriors constantly to force tough turnovers.
Edgewood (3-10) continued to try and set up an offense, but nearly every time was greeted by Pymatuning Valley and its defense.
The Lakers forced 18 Warrior turnovers in the first quarter.
On the other end of the floor, that created a good breakaway strategy to score a lot and score quickly. The Lakers jumped out to the early 30-4 lead after the first quarter.
“We kinda switched up D today, man to man, pressure the ball, contain and get hands on passes, ballhawking,” Pymatuning Valley coach Jeff Compan said.
“(PV is a) very solid d team, very rangy, they did a nice job of applying good first-quarter defense,” Edgewood coach Dave McCoy said.
Edgewood started to settle down to start the second quarter, though. It didn’t allow the defensive pressure to create as many turnovers and the Warriors kept at it, trying to find an offensive flow.
Despite the tough defense, they kept on shooting and were able to put up a few more points in the second quarter with 8, and only gave up 23, but trailed at the half, 53-12.
The Lakers continued to pressure Edgewood throughout the third quarter, but again, despite being down a lot to a very talented Laker team, Edgewood did not give up.
“The biggest thing is to believe in yourselves. We are gonna make mistakes, we gotta learn from ’em,” McCoy said. “There is a ) glimmer of positive things. We have a brutal schedule, (we play) good teams, good traditions teams, and we are fighting to get there.
“(I am) happier leaders are becoming leaders. Communication, no quit... (trying to) find positive things.”
The Lakers got some huge performances from a plethora of players. Heather Brant was one of them, scoring 25 points and adding 9 steals and 4 rebounds.
“Our traps, big, long arms,” Brant said led to her and her team getting many of its steals. “After dips and steals, get layups at other end.”
Kelsea Brown also had a huge game with 21 points, 6 steals and 3 rebounds for the Lakers and Geena Gabriel added 12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 assists. Megan Stech contributed 8 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
Taylor Diemer led Edgewood with 9 points and 2 rebounds. Cortney Humphrey had 7 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, and Keegan McTrusty had a solid game with 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Velotta is a freelance writer from Concord Township