The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


November 28, 2012

Falcons fly out of gate

Jefferson roars to 20-1 lead then holds the fort to knock off Conneaut

JEFFERSON — The opening moments of the Jefferson girls basketball season might not have been directly tied to the final moments of last season, but there was definitely a link.

After falling to Conneaut in a Division II sectional semifinal in a barnburner to close the 2011-12 season, the Falcons outscored the Spartans by 19 over the opening eight minutes in a 45-29 season-opening win Tuesday night.

“We definitely came out ready to play,” senior post Ariann Barile said. “We remember the last game from the tournament (last year). That fired us up. We wanted to let them know we were here.”

The Falcons (1-0) outscored Conneaut, 20-1, in the first period and its swtiching defenses allowed the Spartans just four shot attempts.

“We came out pretty solid,” Jefferson coach Rod Holmes said. “I’m really happy with our defense at the start. Our defense played really well. They hit some 3’s, but overall, we played good defense.”

“To me, that was inexperience,” Conneaut coach Tony Pasanen said. “We don’t have that go-to player, right now. That’s what we expected. They’re all adjusting to new roles. That’s been our MO, whether it’s a scrimmage or the game against Ledgemont the other day.

“We start slow and pick it up over time. It’s a chemistry thing and a confidence thing that we’ll only gain with more experience.”

Conneaut turned the ball over 14 times in the first period and was 0-4 from the floor.

“It was a combination of the way they did things and our turnovers,” Pasanen said. “We can’t turn the ball over that much and expect to be in any game. We’ve got to stop shooting ourselves or we’re going to struggle against anybody we play.”

Jefferson was 9-15 from the field in the first period and turned the ball over just four times.

“I honestly think if we didn’t come out with that big of a lead, the game would’ve been a lot closer,” Jefferson sophomore point guard Jessica Becker said. “It would’ve been a lot harder to win that game.”

The Spartans (1-1) outscored Jefferson, 17-13, in the second and third periods.     

“For some reason, we start timid,” Pasanen said. “We’re not aggressive at the start as we’re capable of being. You saw in the second half that we’re fully capable of it. It’s not laziness, it’s timidness.

“The same thing happened (Monday) in practice. For the first half hour, we were terrible. The last hour was great.”

Barile led the Falcons with 10 points and 11 boards. Holmes rotated nine players in and out of the game and all nine not only made contribitions, but also scored.

“That’s where working hard got me,” she said. “But I wouldn’t be where I am without my teammates. I know it’s cliche, but they’re the ones who push me in practice. Without them making shots and opening up the paint area, I couldn’t have done what I did.”

“Ariann’s our biggest hustler,” Becker said. “She jumps to the ball. She goes and gets it. That’s reason she gets so many (rebounds and loose balls) — she wants them.”

Becker tallied nine points and three steals, Sarah Busch added eight points, five rebounds, three assists and four steals and LeeAnn Farr netted seven points, five rebounds, three assists and block.

Conneaut cut the deficit to 11, 40-29, with 2:07 to play, but Busch took an assist from and scored while being fouled. She made the free throw then assisted Farr 30 seconds later for another bucket.

Lexi Zappitelli led the Spartans with 10 points, four rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Natalie Bertolasio scored six points and Lydia Coccitto added five more.   

Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

Text Only
  • 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