Basketball is a game of runs.
As Conneaut learned on Tuesday night, the game is fun when you’re on a good run, like the 8-0 run the Spartans went on to open its home game with Cardinal.
And not so fun when you’re opposite side, like the 22-4 run the Huskies went on to close out the first half and open the third quarter that ultimately doomed Conneaut as it fell, 79-66.
All told, the Huskies turned a one-point halftime lead (36-35) to a 16-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter, thanks in large part to the Spartans turning the ball over 12 times in the period (34 on the night), which was more than the points they scored in the quarter (10).
“Turnovers, that was the story of the night,” Conneaut coach Tim Tallbacka said. “You score 60 points and turn the ball over 30 or so times, that’s hard to do.”
Things started to slip away from Conneaut in the second quarter when it led 35-30, but let that five-point lead disappear when the Huskies were able to put six points on the board in the closing seconds.
Tallbacka felt that was the turning point in the game.
“There were two possessions where they had five-point possessions,” he said. “The last two, they came down off a turnover and that momentum carried over to the second half. We had two shots to score to start the half and didn’t convert and it got away from us.”
Jason Farmwald wreaked havoc on the Spartans throughout, scoring a game-high 23 points thanks in large part to his nine steals.
“They’re our Energizer Bunnies,” Cardinal coach John Cummins said of Farmwald and his runningmate Brian Kaser (17 points). “We want them to create havoc and put pressure on opposing teams then penetrate in transition.”
Cardinal did plenty of that in forcing 34 Spartan turnovers, but the Huskies were far from perfect themselves in giving the ball away 27 times.
Tallbacka felt that his team wasn’t able to take advantage of those chances though.
“It seemed like there were nine or 10 possessions where they turned it over and we threw it right back to them,” he said. “We just didn’t keep our composure and get over that hump when things didn’t go well. We have a lot of seniors and I’m confident we’ll get over that hump eventually. It’s gotta happen.”
The Spartans came out of the gates firing as Christian Williams (17 points) hit two 3’s to help Conneaut jump out to that 8-0 advantage and eventually hold on to a 20-15 first-quarter lead.
But once that evaporated and the advantage was pushed to 16 by Cardinal, the Spartans were never able to get on a run to get the deficit down to single digits.
Conneaut did cut the lead to 11, midway through the fourth quarter, but an Alec Hill (10 points) 3-pointer coming out of a Spartans timeout with 4:20 remaining doomed any chances of a comeback.
“We’ve got General McClain next Tuesday so it doesn’t get any easier,” Tallbacka said. “We’ll look at the film of this one, analyze it and take away from it what we can and do our best to improve.”
Cardinal’s spurts do in Conneaut
Basketball is a game of runs.
Spartans knock around Dragons
After being cooped up in gymnasiums for the better part of the season so far, the Conneaut and Lakeside softball teams were just happy to get onto a diamond. Playing for the first time in nearly a week, the Spartans toppled the Dragons, 11-2, Thursday afternoon at Lakeside.
PV can’t get past Mathews
Thursday afternoon at Pymatuning Valley, the visiting Mathews Mustangs were able to do what every coach hopes for — execute. They played a clean game from start to finish in every facet of the game, and that carried the Mustangs to an 8-2 Northeastern Athletic Conference victory.
Matthews 8, PV 2
FRIDAY, APRIL 18
Geneva at Edgewood (11)
Niles McKinley at Edgewood (5)
Conneaut at Lakeside (4:30)
Madison at Euclid (4:30)
Madison at Edgewood (4:30)
Geneva at Mentor (10, DH)
Conneaut at Madison (4)
It was just four short years ago that Justin Butler was spending his fall on a soccer field.
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:
- GANG GREEN
THURSDAY, APRIL 17
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)
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.”
A Don McCormack column: Spring has sprung one big leak
Paying a Wednesday morning visit to the variety store...
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.
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- Spartans knock around Dragons