Lordstown holds off Girard, 42-36
GIRARD — Dave Smith kept pacing the sideline during the fourth quarter.
The Lordstown girls basketball coach kept staring up at the scoreboard nearest to his bench, wondering when the clock would reach all zeros during Wednesday’s 42-36 victory over Girard.
He saw his team commit a handful of turnovers and go 1 of 8 from the floor and 4 of 11 from the foul line in that last stanza.
Worry consumed Smith.
“I wanted them to be a little more patient with the ball, not force any shots,” said Smith, whose team improves to 3-3. “As long as the clock is running, the clock is my friend. If it’s stopped, it’s not my friend.”
Girard’s Sophia Strollo, who led the Indians (2-4) with 14 points and 10 rebounds, had a putback with 1:09 left to cut the Lordstown lead to 41-36.
The Indians didn’t help matters from the free-throw line, going 3 of 17. Lordstown wasn’t much better as the Red Devils were 11 of 26.
Girard coach Andy Saxon, who is two away from 400 wins in his career, said his team is peppered with 10 freshmen and five sophomores.
“We’re not a very good shooting team, whether it be from the field or from the free-throw line,” said Saxon, whose team was 16 of 52 from the floor. “We struggle putting the ball in the basket.”
Add to that 24 turnovers, mostly unforced.
“When you turn the ball over like we do and don’t make shots, it’s very difficult to win a game,” Saxon said.
Lordstown held fast with Jordan Beach and Alexis Weekly combining for 21 of the team’s 30 rebounds. Beach crashed the boards numerous times, sacrificing her body to get the errant basketball.
“Her senior leadership is there,” Smith said.
Lordstown began the game with a 20-9 first-quarter lead thanks in part to Jess Wilk hitting three of her four 3-pointers in the first 8 minutes. Wilk led the Red Devils with 14 points.
Smith was very thankful his team got out to a good advantage in the first quarter.
“When she’s on, she’s on,” he said of Wilk. “I’m glad tonight she was on.”
Lordstown rebounded from a blowout loss to Cardinal Mooney earlier this season and is starting to rebound going forward.
“Our team chemistry is starting to come back a little bit,” Smith said. “We’re moving the ball a lot better.”