By STEVE GOLDMAN
For the Star Beacon
It’s often impossible to simulate something that you don’t have. So when they were faced with the quickness of host East Tech on Thursday, it was difficult for the Jefferson girls to adjust to it.
“They just came out and hit us with quickness we haven’t seen all year,” Jefferson coach Rod Holmes said after his Falcons bowed 59-30 in a Division II sectional championship contest. “We can’t simulate that in practice.”
The top-seeded Scarabs (20-4) forced turnovers on Jefferson’s first 8 possessions, and built a 14-0 lead within the first two minutes.
“We’re trying to use our skill, speed and conditioning,” East Tech coach Melvin Burke, who related that the Scarabs start one freshman, three sophomores and one junior, said. “We don’t have a lot of height. We have 2 or 3 six-footers, but skill and speed are our main factors. So we were trying to get out there and run a little bit.”
After seventh-seeded Jefferson (8-16) adjusted, it played better, although it did finish with 31 turnovers and 22.5 percent shooting (9-of-40).
East Tech held the Falcons to 4 and 6 points in the middle quarters, respectively. An 11-0 third-period run pushed the margin from 33-18 to 44-18, and a 9-0 stretch expanded it from 48-25 to 57-25 in the final frame.
Corrine Caldwell had 11 points, 6 assists, 8 rebounds and 8 steals, Jayla Sanford 12 points and all five of her steals in the first quarter, Shantell Bostick 10 points and Tionna Barns 5 blocked shots for the Scarabs.
East Tech sometimes slowed the pace down on offense, and converted many points in transition situations.
“Their speed — they just keep coming,” Holmes said.
Emily Smock had 9 points and 9 boards, Jessica Becker 9 points, Sarah Brook 8 rebounds and Deanna Comp had 7 caroms for Jefferson.
“It’s going to be tough (playing at the home of the top seed), but we knew that,” Holmes said. “Our goal this year was we wanted to get a win in our first tournament game (which we did).”
Goldman is a freelance writer from South Euclid.