The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


January 13, 2013

Mustangs back to winning ways

GV bounces back from loss by besting Youngstown Christian

ORWELL — Coming off a tough Northeastern Athletic Conference loss to rival Pymatuning Valley, some might’ve thought the Grand Valley Mustangs would’ve looked flat in their next game.

But, the exact opposite was the case.

The Mustangs came out sharp from the opening tipoff against the visiting Youngstown Christian’s Eagles Saturday night, opening a large lead early and maintaining it throughout in claiming a solid 55-40 non-conference victory.

“We worked really hard in practice on our defense,” GV coach Kim Triskett said. “We want all the girls to understand what we want them to do. We had good practices, the girls paid good attention to what they were doing, and it paid off well tonight.”

While getting important contributions from everybody who played in the game, it was the duo of Jess Vormelker and Kelly Preske that had the hot hand early and supplied the big lead which GV enjoyed the entire night.

Preske ignited the offense for GV (11-3, 3-3 in NAC) with a layup and pair of free throws in the opening minute. She hit all five shots she took in the first half as well as three free throws, eventually ending the night with 19 points.

Vormelker had a big second quarter, featuring four hoops and nine points, on her way to a 21-point effort.

“We played very poorly tonight,” Youngstown Christian coach Bill Hoelzel said. “Grand Valley is an excellent team that deserves credit for what they do on the floor. They executed their game plan flawlessly tonight and we were so disorganized that out of the four quarters played, I think we may have played just one in the normal way we play. That was in part of the first period, and then again in the fourth.”

The Mustangs shot well in the first half, hitting 13 of their 30 shots, and made every pass count in totaling 17 assists for the game on their 23 baskets. Vormelker nearly had a triple double, but everybody made big plays when they were needed.

Vormelker had seven assists, and Abby Paskey chipped in with six in getting the ball to either Preske or Vormelker to finish. When Chris Futty got into early foul trouble, something that could have proven disastrous to the Mustangs with the athleticism and length of the Eagle front line, Brady and Holly Nye stepped in from the bench and made big plays, and Kayla Sellitto provided a spark on the quick Eagle guards in breaking pressure.

“We’re trying to drive home the idea with the girls that everybody has something to contribute to our total team effort,” Triskett said. “Kayla made some really big plays, things that don’t show up in the paper, and that’s what we need to be successful.”

Those efforts put the clamps on Eagle scoring leader Shanelle Harris (nine points).

Toi Brown and Cashia Moyer each tallied eight points, and Brown snared 13 rebounds and blocked four shots.

After having a small edge on the boards in the first half, tighter boxing out by the Mustangs led them to a solid 42-36 edge on the glass as well. Vormelker had 12, Paskey grabbed six, and Holly Nye and Chris Futty each grabbed five.

“We simply didn’t play well at all,” Hoelzel said. “Credit the Grand Valley coaches for preparing their girls to play hard all the way to the end. We really appreciate and enjoy playing such a good team in such a great gym, and their hospitality is very much appreciated.”

Kelly is a freelance writer from Jefferson.

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