By STEVE GOLDMAN
For the Star Beacon
FAIRPORT HARBOR —
Despite defeat, Dave McCoy couldn’t speak negatively about his Edgewood girls on Wednesday night. For one thing, part of the problem was that they don’t have much experience with leads.
After holding an advantage as high as nine points in the first half, the Warriors saw that, as well as a late slim advantage, slip away. Then Fairport ran off the first eight points in overtime, and took a 54-46 decision on its home floor.
Shannon Harless scored 27 points, half of Fairport’s total. Included were six 3-pointers, including one that knotted the game at 44 with 1:05 left in regulation. Her basket from the lane on the opening possession of the extra session put the Skippers (10-10) up for good in the non-conference contest.
Harless, who has the school record with 45 treys in a season, now has 41 this year with at least three games remaining.
“An excellent shooter,” McCoy said. “She had a great game.”
It was the second triumph by the Skippers against the Warriors this season. They had prevailed by almost the same score, 56-46, three weeks earlier, although that contest didn’t go the extra four minutes.
Taylor Diemer popped in 12 of her 16 points in the first period for the Warriors, including both her triples. A 9-0 run provided a 16-10 advantage, and when Gia Saturday (6 thefts) scored off a Haley Holden steal to open the second-period scoring, and then Alyssa Johnson (10 points) hit two free throws, Edgewood had a 22-13 lead.
By the end of the half, though, the lead was down to 26-24, as Harless and Arianna Bustria had combined for all but two of the Skippers’ points. Fairport then tied it twice before running off seven consecutive points on a jumper by freshman Morgan Ondo, a Harless three and a steal and layup by Ondo for a 39-36 edge in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
The Warriors (3-16) bounced back, tying it at 40 on the second of two jumpers by Keegan McTrusty in the period. Cortney Humphrey put them in the lead with a layup after McTrusty knocked the ball loose for a steal.
Harless split two free throws at the 4:14 mark, cutting it to 42-41. Then almost two minutes later, Saturday found Johnson for a bucket and a 44-41 lead that lasted until Harless hit her final 3-pointer.
Edgewood then ran the clock down to 4.3 seconds and called a timeout. But Hannah Hites foiled the strategy by blocking a shot.
After Harless opened the overtime scoring, a steal and layup by Ondo, a basket by Hites (all 9 points after halftime, 8 rebounds) and a short jumper by Harless stretched it to 52-44 before Johnson followed in a shot in the waning seconds. It was the only attempt Edgewood converted out of seven in overtime.
Ondo, a freshman, had five of her seven steals from the fourth quarter on, and all eight of her points after the break.
“She’s definitely a sparkplug for us,” Fairport coach Ed Reed said.
“There’s nothing I can say to my girls,” McCoy said. “I give credit for a great effort from my girls.
“It was just a great effort. Unfortunately, just not enough at the end. I think once we got the lead, we got a little rattled.
“Realistically, the way the season has gone, we haven’t had too many opportunities (to play with the lead). Actually it’s new territory. So I can’t fault my girls. My hat’s off to (the Skippers).”
“We have three juniors on the floor (including Harless), two sophomores and one freshman,” Reed said. “Aishah Wise and Macy Rowan put in good minutes for me tonight (off the bench). They grabbed some big boards, and it was nice to see them come out and do the right things.”
Carrie Pascarella dished out five assists for Edgewood. Bustria scored all eight of her points before the intermission.
Goldman is a freelance writer from South Euclid.