By BOB ETTINGER
For the Star Beacon
ANDOVER TOWNSHIP —
In her final regular-season game on her home floor at Pymatuning Valley, point guard Geena Gabriel wanted to leave a lasting impression on the Lakers’ followers. She certainly accomplished what she set out to do in leading her team to a 73-43 victory over Bristol on Thursday night to secure an unbeaten regular season for the Lakers.
Gabriel finished with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 7 steals. She shared the spotlight with teammate Kelsea Brown who reached the 1,000-point plateau for her career.
“I went in knowing I had to play hard and take it to the rim,” Gabriel said. “I knew Kelsey was going to get to 1,000, so I focused on giving her the ball. After that, I started driving. The lane opened up and the scores added up.”
Brown, a junior, finished with 22 points and now stands at 1,009 for her career.
Taylor Lipinsky, the Lakers’ only other senior, brought down the house when she knocked down a free throw late in the fourth quarter.
The Lakers (21-0, 12-0 in Northeastern Athletic Conference) made 22 steals in forcing 32 turnovers.
“We had 19 turnovers in the first half,” Bristol coach Lisa Gabrilson said. “We were also in foul trouble.”
“We didn’t press a lot,” PV coach Jeff Compan said. “When you force that many turnovers with your half-court defense, you’re going to do OK.”
PV knocked down an impressive 58.3 percent (28 of 48) of their field attempts.
“When you shoot like that, you’ll win a lot of games,” Compan said.
“They had an awesome shooting percentage,” Gabrilson said.
Megan Stech scored 14 points and Rebecca Dillon added 11 for the Lakers.
Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.