The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

January 24, 2014

Leopards claw Falcons

Jefferson falls short on road in AAC clash

LIBERTY — In the first three possessions of the game, the Liberty Leopards set the standard for the rest of the night in their contest against the Jefferson Falcons.

In the first minute and a half, Liberty converted all 3 times up the floor, foreshadowing what the end result would be. They never lost the lead the entire game. When the final horn sounded, Liberty defeated Jefferson, 58-36.

Liberty took control of the game, winning the tip and rolling from there. They outscored the Falcons 24-14 in the first half. Marcy Dykes led the team in scoring, knocking down 6 field goals and 2 free throws for 14 points. Leah Leshnack hit 6 field goals for 13 points. They are what sparked the fourth quarter takeover. Liberty outscored Jefferson 15-9, earning most of their points from the Falcon’s turnovers.

Ron DeJulio, Liberty’s coach, knows who his go-to players are and had his team set them up to be successful.

“Leah is probably our best player,” DeJulio said. “She’s our highest scoring player. She did a great job of giving it up to Marcy. They were taking her (Leshnack) away quite a bit. Her shot wasn’t falling but she did a great job of giving assists. Marcy is a very athletic post. It’s a mismatch for anyone inside against her.”

Defensively, the Leopards switched their zones sporadically from a 2-3 zone to what looked like a box-and-1 in order to keep the Falcons on their toes.

“They were getting comfortable with what we were doing early on, then we changed it up” DeJulio said. “It just gets them out of rhythm a little bit. We talked about that at pregame and at halftime. We had to step it up defensively because they have some good shooters and good players inside. We really concentrated on defense during this week to win the game.”

Liberty’s strategy worked, causing 8 turnovers in the fourth quarter, 3 of which turned into points for the Leopards.

Jefferson coach Rod Holmes attributes the loss to too many missed shots.

“We didn’t come out and score,” Holmes said. “We couldn’t put the ball in the basket. That first quarter, we went 3-17 from the field. If we don’t hit those shots, they stay in their defense.”

Left-handed guard, Jessica Becker, stepped up in the second half, earning 8 of her 14 points. Emily Smock backed her up sinking 5 shots and a free throw for 11 points for the Falcons.

The Falcon’s man-to-man defense made the Leopards turn the ball over 12 times in the first half, but the missed shots added up.

“If we would have hit the shots that we missed, we would have reacted real well,” Holmes said. “We got good shots, we just didn’t put the ball in the basket. They took one of our scorers away but we have other people that can do it, they just have to do it.”

Although the Falcons were behind the entire game, they never let up. Going into the fourth quarter, Jefferson held Liberty scoreless until the 5 minute mark. In that time period, Jefferson scored 5-straight points.

Also, the Falcons were just 6-16 from the foul line while Liberty went 5-7.

“We tried to run more screens,” Holmes said. “We turned the ball over way too much today. If you don’t get shots, you can’t come back.”

Hanuschak is a freelance writer from Champion.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

  • TD Club golf A Chris Larick column: TD Club hopes to score

    Though its life was never seriously threatened, the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club has suffered in recent years.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Don A Don McCormack column: A heartfelt plea to curb violence

    Like everyone who loves soccer — and the rest of us whose interest level rises dramatically every four years when the World Cup comes around — Kevin Meier was appalled at the recent attack of soccer referee John Bieniewicz in Michigan by a player that resulted in Bieniewicz tragically dying.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • valor A valiant effort

    Paralympians from all over the United States experienced three days of competition, education and fun during the Valor Games Gold Medal Camp at Spire this weekend.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • swim SUMMER SWIM

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anthony From player to coach

    When former Lakeside offensive lineman Anthony Colucci went down with a broken leg in Week 6 of his senior year at Capital University, he got a peak into what his future in football looks like.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video