Conneaut coach Bill Stevenson knows when to flip the switch.
Playing to Saegertown’s half-court game and scoring only seven points in the first quarter, Stevenson had seen enough and decided to hit the “attack” button.
In a 42-second blur, Conneaut — applying a full-court press and recording three steals in the process — went from a 9-7 deficit to a 15-9 lead and went on to a 35-23 victory Saturday night in Region 3 girls basketball action.
The win kept CASH perfect in the league at 9-0 and is now 16-2 overall. Saegertown dropped to 10-6 and 6-3.
“We just beat a good ballclub,” said Stevenson. “They dictate the tempo of the game, and for the most part, they did. We had to grind out this win.”
Playing its slow-down game, Saegertown coach Steve Scott had the game going his way in the opening quarter as his Panthers stayed even with the favored Eagles at 7-7.
Then, on Saegertown’s opening possession in the second quarter, Victoria Eckart tossed in a 12-foot bank shot to give the Panthers a 9-7 lead.
A steamed-up Stevenson then flipped the switch.
After Mallory Reynolds drained a 3-pointer off a turnover, junior Kristen Baker scored on two offensive rebounds and sank one free throw to give the Eagles a 15-9 lead with 6:28 remaining in the first half.
Conneaut’s full-court press did the trick.
“We changed it up at the beginning of the second quarter and got some turnovers,” said Stevenson.
Conneaut led the rest of the way, but Saegertown made a couple runs.
Trailing 17-12, Rachel DiBartolomeo scooped up a loose ball and converted a three-point play and Katie Kapanick made one of two free throws with three seconds remaining in the first half to cut Conneaut’s halftime lead to 17-16.
The Panthers nearly grabbed the lead in the opening seconds of the third period as Arianna Hanley’s 15-foot jumper went in-and-out.
Too close for comfort for Stevenson & Co.
CASH answered the close call with two long-distance jumpers as Baker and Kimmy Litwin drained 3-pointers to push the Eagles’ lead to 23-17 with 6:08 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles’ “D” did the rest.
Leading 31-23 with 4:43 left in the game, Conneaut held Saegertown scoreless for the remainder of the game.
“Holding a team the caliber of Saegertown to only seven points in the second half is a great defensive job,” said Stevenson. “It was a team effort.”
Baker led Conneaut with 14 points and Challen Litwiler and Litwin scored nine and eight points, respectively.
DiBartolomeo was Saeger-town’s top gun with 10 points.
Conneaut coach Bill Stevenson knows when to flip the switch.
NFL: Dolphins shake off weather to beat Steelers
Considering everything the resilient Miami Dolphins have put themselves through over the last two months, a couple of snowflakes were hardly going to be a problem.
Not with Ryan Tannehill throwing and running like a guy who enjoys the white stuff. Not with Charles Clay muscling through the arm tackle of a likely Hall of Famer for the winning score. Not even with a Keystone Kops finale that ever so briefly appeared to be for real.
NFL: Pats score twice in final 61 seconds to beat Browns
Nearly everything had to go right for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to pull off their latest comeback.
Just about everything did.
Brady threw two touchdown passes and the Cleveland Browns committed two critical penalties in the final 61 seconds as the Patriots stormed to a 27-26 victory on Sunday.
BOYS BASKETBALL: McElhinny gets first Bulldogs win in rout
Asked how important it was getting the team’s first win of the season, Meadville’s head boys basketball coach Mark McElhinny blurted out the answer before the question was even finished.
“Huge,” he said.
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Panthers just too much for Meadville
How defending Region 3 champion Saegertown will fare during the 2013-14 season is still a bit of a mystery.
But if Saturday afternoon is any indication of the effort the Lady Panthers are going to put into the season, they very well could be a title contender again.
BOYS BASKETBALL: East outlasts MASH to reach final
Unfortunately, Mark McElhinny’s biggest fear entering his debut as Meadville’s head basketball coach surfaced:
The Bulldogs’ youth factor came into play — at the worst time, in the fourth quarter.
Committing eight turnovers and showing fatique signs in the final period, the youth-laden Bulldogs were outscored 22-17 as Erie East spoiled McElihinny’s first game on the MASH bench with a 65-60 win in the opening round of the Sertoma Tipoff Tournament on Friday night at the House of Thrills.
BOYS BASKETBALL: Falcons move into title game
A youth-laden Conneaut boys basketball team had a well-seasoned Central Tech squad right within striking distance after one half. But the Falcons spread their wings in half No. 2 to claim a 56-34 victory over the Eagles during Friday night’s action at the Sertoma Tipoff Tournament at Meadville High School’s House of Thrills.
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Slow start dooms Lady Bulldogs
It seems that the Meadville girls basketball team needed a couple quarters to get into the groove for the 2013-14 season.
In the second half of Friday night’s game at the Sertoma Tipoff Tournament at Meadville High School, the Lady Bulldogs actually beat Central Tech 21-14.
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Seneca too tough for Panthers
There was no wading into the pool for the sophomore-stocked Saegertown girls basketball team.
The young Lady Panthers opened the season against a bigger, more experienced opponent. And it showed on the scoreboard, as Seneca downed the Panthers 59-35 in the opening game of the Sertoma Tipoff Tournament on Friday at Meadville High School’s House of Thrills.
COLLEGE WRESTLING: Fighting Scots just miss out on upset of Iowa
It was nearly 50 minutes prior to the start of the Edinboro versus Iowa NCAA Division I wrestling match on Thursday night and the stands at McComb Fieldhouse were already nearly full.
That crowd, however, later announced at a whopping 3,152, was relatively quiet in the early going. Then Edinboro All-American A.J. Schopp took the mat. Just two minutes in that crowd turned deafening.
NBA: Irving, Cavaliers snap Nuggets' win streak 98-88
Kyrie Irving scored 23 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped the Denver Nuggets’ seven-game winning streak with a 98-88 victory Wednesday night.
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