The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


February 5, 2013

Lakers put it on line

PV’s free-throw shooting difference in getting past gutty Grand Valley

ANDOVER TOWNSHIP — Take the ball to the hole and see what happens. The Pymatuning Valley girls basketball did just that in a Northeastern Athletic Conference clash with South County rival Grand Valley on Monday. The result was 25 free-throw attempts and a 62-52 Lakers’ victory.

“We were aggressive, tried to find driving lanes and tried to get to the basket,” PV coach Jeff Compan said. “We have such quick guards and we try to use them to our advantage.”

The Grand Valley defenders simply had trouble getting to the right spots at the times.

“We talked about getting to the pass quicker,” GV coach Kim Triskett said. “That’s been what we’ve stressed. Working and working to the ball in straight lines. If they move the basketball quickly, we have to get in position quickly.

“That said, you’re not going to get there every time.”

The Lakers (17-2, 10-2) made 80 percent (20) of those 25 charity tosses.

“Our three big scorers, Geena (Gabriel), Heather (Brant) and Kelsea (Brown) have made 60 to 70 percent for the season,” Compan said. “In a close game with the ball in their hands, we don’t get any empty trips (from the foul line).

“There’s nothing worse than getting to the line and going 0-2. That’s like giving points away. We try to get to the line more often than the other team and we try to make them.”

The Mustangs (13-8, 4-8) were perfect from the line, but going 8 of 8 just wasn’t going to cut it when compared to the Lakers’ performance.

“There’s nothing else to say,” Triskett said. “That’s where they beat us. We talked about it at the half. Their first four possession of the second half, we put them on the line. You can’t put good teams on the line and that’s what we did.”

After losing by 20, 56-36, the first time the teams met just a few weeks ago, Grand Valley showed up for “Pink Out 2013” and pushed the Lakers right from the opening tip.

“Our kids played with heart right from the beginning,” Triskett said. “First of all, this was quite an atmosphere. The first thing I said to them was to have fun out there and do the things you already know how to do. They played hard.

“There was no pressure. How often do you get to enjoy this (kind of atmosphere)? I told them to enjoy the arena and take it all in.”

“We knew they’d come out fired up and they did,” Compan said. “Kim had them ready to play. I called a couple of timeouts early to check our intensity level. Grand Valley was pesky. They wouldn’t go away.

“They kept hitting 3s and jumpers. Give them credit. They were ready to go tonight.”

Abby Paskey got the Mustangs to within a point, 41-40, with 40 seconds left in the third period, but Kelsea Brown netted six points and Michealia Skleres added all four of hers in the game as the Lakers expanded their advantage to 51-42 midway through the final quarter.

“I told Kelsea to just go score,” Compan said.

Jessica Vormelker stepped back and drilled a triple from the wing to cut the GV deficit to six with 3:15 to play.

Abby Hamilton answered for the Lakers 27 seconds later to erase any Grand Valley notions about getting closer.

“That was the time that came when we had to start pressing to force turnovers,” Triskett said. “We had create some opportunities. That (shot) was a big one.”

“Abby’s really starting to play well the latter part of the season,” Compan said. “She injured her foot before the season and then she got mono. She hasn’t been healthy until recently.

“Her shot doesn’t always look pretty, but it’s nice to get those 3s.”

PV was 8-8 from the line over the final two minutes to seal the victory.

Gabriel led the Lakers with 21 points and five assists, Brown recorded 19 points and nine rebounds and Brant added 11 points and four boards.

A baseline jumper from Kelly Preske at the first-period buzzer gave the Mustangs the lead through eight minutes.

With Vormelker on the bench for the final 10 minutes of the first half, the Mustangs built a 21-14 lead with three minutes to go before the break.

An 11-2 spurt, though, gave PV the lead, 27-25, at the half.

Following a steal and a layup from Gabriel, the Lakers held a 41-32 lead midway through the third. Two triples from Paskey and a bucket from Vormelker in the span of 1:25, had Grand Valley back within a point, 41-40, with 40 seconds left in the half.

“Abby shot the ball well,” Triskett said. “She’s one of the kids who stepped up when Jess went down with fouls. They all did in some way, but Abby really stepped up.”

Vormelker tallied 22 points, Paskey scored 12 and Chris Futty added 10 for the Mustangs.     

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