The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

January 16, 2014

Pirates roll Riverside

Beavers keep it close early, but Perry too much

PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP — It wasn’t just one thing that turned Wednesday’s non-conference contest in favor of the Perry girls. But once the game did turn, it was all Pirates from then on.

After trailing for the majority of the first half, Perry dominated the final 18 minutes to beat host Riverside, 55-36.

The Beavers (2-10, 1-8) held a 21-17 advantage two minutes before the break. But over the next 13 minutes, the Pirates, who forced 40 turnovers overall — 25 via steals —  dominated by a 34-8 count.

Perry (7-5, 4-2 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division) scored the final 7 points of the first half, then extended that run to 11 points for a 28-21 advantage. Riverside answered with 3, but then the Pirates tacked on 10 more  to make it 38-24.

Moments later, Perry ran off the first 11 points of the final quarter to push to 51-29.

The game marked the return to Riverside of Perry coach Brindi Kandel, who guided the Beavers (2-10, 1-8 in the Premier Athletic Conference) the prior 3 years before this season. Kandel described the factors that helped turn things in the Pirates’ favor.

“I thought we did a lot better job getting to the basket and finishing,” she said. “I thought we did a better job defensively in the first half. They were beating us long in the first half against the press, so we wanted to drop back. I thought we did a much better job in the halfcourt defensively.”

Kandel mentioned being in position and boxing out as keys.

“And then I think we attacked the offensive boards a little better,” she said.

Riverside coach Darren Jones, whose team forced 27 turnovers itself,  commented about how the momentum snowballed once it turned.

“Turnovers changed the tempo of the game,” he said. “There was a momentum swing. When we were getting turnovers, we wouldn’t finish. When they got turnovers, they would finish.”

One thing that hurt Riverside, but was a partial result of Perry’s aggressiveness, was the fact 2 starters encountered foul problems. Shannon Garvey picked up her fourth foul 1:30 before halftime, and had to sit for most of the rest of the way. Post Ashley Plassard also was whistled for her fourth, just more than 3 minutes into the second half.

Plassard returned briefly in the fourth period, but fouled out with 6:10 to go.

“That was huge,” Jones said. “Two of my starters had 4 fouls. I had to put in 2 freshmen with no varsity experience. They just weren’t ready for the varsity experience, but it was an opportunity for them to do what they had to do, so we just played through it.

“One of my starters is my 6-2 post. When we’re already as small and little as we are now, then you take my only post player — Mmm. That just changed the whole tempo of the game.”

Brittany Levkulich (10 of her 14 points in the second half,4 thefts), Reannan Blackmore (10 points), Gabby Sutyak (7 of her 8 points in the second half, 6 steals), Gabby West (6 rebounds, 4 blocked shots) and Celeste Farrell (6 steals, 3 blocks) were among the standouts for Perry.

“I thought we had a very balanced scoring effort, and I think that was key,” Kandel said. “We had a lot of kids step up; we weren’t just relying on one player to score. I think when you do that, it makes you tougher to guard defensively.”

Erin Fahl had 15 points and 7 boards, Jessica Kovalchuk 10 rebounds, Brianna Prugel 4 assists and Kirsten Ponsart 7 caroms and 2 blocks for the Beavers.

The Pirates held Riverside to 11-of-39 shooting (28.2 percent). They hit 18-of-25 free throws as compared to 12-of-22 for Riverside.

“We  wanted to create a really up-tempo game and try to pressure them  into some turnovers,” Kandel said. “I thought we did a good job of that at times, and then other times (we had) a breakdown and then they’d go long. But I was really proud of our defensive effort overall.”

When asked if it was strange to return to Riverside as a visiting coach, Kandel said yes.

“You put everything you have into something for 3 years,” she said. “Coming back, it’s a little bit different than a typical game, but we prepared for it the same way we would any game in practice, and I thought the girls did a good job coming out, and even with a little bit of extra emotion, they focused in the second half and really channeled it.”

“Actually, it was fun,” Jones said. “I think (my players) had a lot to prove. They wanted to prove that they are better players (and) they have learned a lot. Playing against your former coach is exciting, because you know you want to beat them. They were pretty excited; the energy was there. But it was fun for the coaching staff and the players.”

Ali Tobias, Kandel’s assistant with Riverside, moved to the Perry program with Kandel. Jones related that while he was at Lake Erie College, he had tried to recruit Tobias when she was a star at  Riverside.

“It was good to see her after about 4 or 5 years,” he said.

Goldman is a freelance writer from South Euclid.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Danielle Zip-ing along

    Just minutes after Geneva’s Danielle Nicholson holed out on the 18th green at the Gray Course at Ohio State University during her freshman year to win the 2011 Division I state championship, the recruitment process of where she would go to college began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Maruna headed for Mount

    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

  • Crate Late Models featured

    The Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models, the premier class at Raceway 7, will be featured Friday night as they race for $1,000 to win.

    July 23, 2014

  • 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

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