The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 24, 2014

Geneva rolls again

Eagles’ pressure defense too much for Warriors

For the Star Beacon

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — A little bit of pressure on the defensive side of things and a lot of dribble penetration from Lindsey Mayle was more than enough for the Geneva Eagles as they took care of the host Edgewood Warriors 60-25 on Thursday night at Edgewood.

Mayle, one of three Eagles in double figures, had a game-high 24 points to lead the Eagles (10-6, 8-2 in the PAC).

“She’s very tough to defend,” Edgewood coach Steve Kray said. “She can dribble and finish, she can dribble and kick and she can catch and shoot.”

After scoring 12 points in the first half including a pair of 3-pointers, the sophomore guard took over the third quarter driving to the hoop and ending up at the foul line where she made the Warriors pay by nailing  8 of 9 free throws.

“Getting to the basket is definitely the strength of her game,” Geneva coach Nancy Barbo said. “A lot of teams work on trying to stop it, but she has a good nose for that particular skill.”

Geneva jumped on top early, after giving up the games first basket, the Eagles went on a 16-2 run to lead 16-4 after one quarter and stretched it to 33-9 by intermission.

“Bottom line is we knew we couldn’t sit in the zone because they’d shoot the lights out,” Kray said. “We said if we’re going to play them, we’re going to play them physical man to man, slide under screens and force them to shoot the jump shot and make sure we contest the jump shot. I thought we did that in the first quarter, but at the other end we missed a ton of wide open shots. We were down 16-4 when it could have easily been more like 16-12 or 16-14.”

Aside from missing some open looks, the Warriors turned the ball over 6 times in the first quarter against Geneva’s  pressing defense .

“Typically we don’t press right off the bat,” Barbo said. “I did want to get us moving early on, though. We didn’t have school yesterday so we didn’t practice. I wanted to make sure we weren’t playing complacently and got out moving and running.”

For the game Geneva forced the Warriors into 22 turnovers and limited them to just 9 field goals.

“I thought in spots here and there we gave up some open looks,” Barbo said about her team’s defensive effort. “Our goal is to contest every shot and to do that we have to work hard on taking no possessions off.”

Aside from Mayle, Geneva also got double figure scoring from Junker, who had 12 points to go with a team-high 9 rebounds, while Alyssa Scott had 10 points.

For the Warriors, Gia Saturday knocked down three triple for a team-high 9 points while freshman Iesha Niciu had three hoops for 6 points and a game-best 15 rebounds.

“We’re just not scoring right now,” Kray said. “Beginning of the year we’re putting up 45-50 points a game, but right now we just cannot seem to get the ball in the basket. Were learning some things though, Ieshia had a nice game tonight, we’re not used to playing with a 6-foot-2 girl. I think we’re learning how to get the ball to her, once you get the ball to her than you can open up the outside shot.

“Sometimes we’re looking outside then in, when we should be looking inside then out.”

Shaffer is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.