By ANGELO VELOTTA
For the Star Beacon
ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP —
Sometimes the final score isn’t a reflection of a team’s progress.
Despite falling 34-30 to Berkshire on Wednesday night, the Edgewood Warriors are showing improvement and coach Dave McCoy is taking notice.
“I am proud,” McCoy said of his team’s gutsy performance.
The Warriors (1-3) came right out in the first quarter with a whole lot of fire, and it showed on both sides of the floor. On the offensive side, junior Gia Saturday connected on two long-distance 3’s, and on the defensive end the whole team put pressure on Berkshire to get rebounds and to get turnovers as well.
This led to Edgewood winning the first quarter 13-10 and looking very solid and consistent on both ends of the floor.
The second quarter rolled around and Berkshire (2-1) continued to feed the ball inside to Kayla Butler, who was able to score and rebound effectively against Edgewood especially in the second half. Edgewood continued to play strong in the second but the Badgers took the quarter 9-4 to take a slight lead at halftime, 19-17.
Both teams started the third quarter of slowly, exchanging turnovers. The Warriors struggled offensively, but their defense kept the score close.
Despite taking over four minutes to score in the third, Edgewood stuck with Berkshire thanks to its defense and trailed after three quarters, 27-23.
The fourth quarter started slow, until another huge Gia Saturday 3-pointer, one of her four, tied the game at 30 with 2:32 left to play.
Sophomore Anna Carlson, gave Berkshire the 32-30 lead before a pair of Badgers free throws with 15.5 seconds left on the clock pushed the lead to four, 34-30.
Berkshire responded with a full-court press and Saturday drove down the floor, but the Warriors were unable to find the bottom of the net.
Saturday led all scorers with 16 points, going 4-7 for three pointers, and adding two steals. Taylor Diemer had added 5 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals for the Warriors, Keegan McTrusty kicked in 4 points, Carrie Pascarella scored 2, had 2 steals and 5 assists. Alyssa Johnson (9 rebounds) and Cortney Humphrey (8 rebounds) controlled the glass for the Warriors.
All told, McCoy was pleased with the performance.
“I got a good effort out of everybody,” Dave McCoy said. “I’m not disappointed.”
As for the visiting Badgers, Kayla Butler had a solid game with 11 points, a game-high 12 rebounds to go with 5 steals and 2 blocks.
“Definitely a big part of it, definitely helps,” Butler said in getting the rebounds and scoring.
Butler added that at the end of the game their strategy was to “look for the perfect shot,” she said.
“We did a better job in first half to get to Kayla,” Berkshire coach Dennis Lory said. “Credit to Edgewood.”
“The game plan from the start, we watched her dominate Friday night, scoring like 31 points and 14 rebounds,” McCoy said.
And the plan worked. After a huge first half, Edgewood’s tough defense shut down Butler to only three points and three rebounds in the second half.
As a team Edgewood out rebounded Berkshire 24-21, forced the Badgers into 22 turnovers while committing just 22.
“It was our first road game, different environment,” Lory said. “We hung in there. Easier to play ahead, relax (our) game. In the fourth quarter we got a little tired (though).”
Brooke Sell led the team with 12 points and 4 rebounds, and Peyton Neumore added 9 points for the Badgers shooting 5-6 from the free throw line.
Velotta is a freelance writer from Concord.