December 28, 2012 7:00 a.m. LINESVILLE —
Neither team left Thursday night’s game bragging about its offensive performance. But Conneaut’s effort on ‘D’ was certainly something to be proud of as the Lady Eagles bounced West Middlesex 45-26 during the opening day of action at the Conneaut Area Senior High School Holiday Tournament on Thursday.
“We played pretty well defensively,” said Conneaut head coach Bill Stevenson. “They started figuring our press out a little bit. But we made some adjustments and did a pretty good job overall.”
Conneaut held Middlesex to just six points in the first half. The Reds were 2-for-11 from the floor in the opening quarter, and just 1-for-13 from the floor in the second quarter.
Conneaut’s 10 field goals on 25 attempts in the first half looks a lot better by comparison. However, the Lady Eagles were still lamenting the number of bunnies they left out on the court.
“Offensively, there were a couple hiccups here and there — some dropped passes, some missed layups,” said Stevenson. “But all in all I think we played hard.”
Even after missing its first three shots on the night, Conneaut was still able to jet out to a 9-0 lead over the first five minutes. The Eagles extended that to a 15-4 advantage after one quarter. All five starters scored in the frame. Lindsey Shidemantle and Jenn Krider led the way with four points apiece.
West Middlesex’s zone defense managed to slow Conneaut down in the second quarter. The Eagles scored just six points, making 3-of-10 field goal attempts. However, holding Middlesex to just one bucket in the quarter, the Eagles went into halftime with a fairly comfortable 21-6 lead.
They would stretch that advantage to 34-14 at the end of the third quarter. Challen Litwiler had six points in the period to lead the Eagles.
The fourth quarter was played somewhat loose. West Middlesex won it 12-11. The Reds’ Molly Stitt and Alyson Pierce had the game’s only 3-pointers in the period. But the visitors could never seriously cut into the Eagles’ lead.
The Reds ended the game shooting 10-for-52 (19.2 percent) from the floor. Kelsey Murray led the team with nine points, while Pierce scored eight.
Conneaut hit 19-of-48 attempts (39.6 percent). Liwtiler was the top scorer with 14 markers. Shidemantle scored 10. Jenn Krider chipped in seven points.
Off the glass, Kristen Baker had nine rebounds. Litwiler and and Shidemantle had six apiece.
Now 5-2 on the season, Conneaut moves on to face General McLane in the tournament championship game, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday. GM was a 58-22 winner over Fairview Thursday, running its record to 6-0 on the year.
“(McLane) is obviously a good team,” said Stevenson. “Three of them shoot very well. So we’ll have to play good defense. And when we get a chance to score we’ll have to make it count. I’m anxious for it. We’ll see how it goes.”
West Middlesex (3-4) and Fairview (2-3) will tip off today at 6 p.m. in the tournament consolation.