Not the ‘Dogs day

AUSTINTOWN – A radio broadcast of the girls’ basketball game between the Fitch Falcons and Lakeview Bulldogs Monday resulted in the use of eight 75-second media timeouts.

That amounted to 10 additional minutes of down time, which only prolonged the misery of the night for the Bulldogs.

There wasn’t much the Falcons did wrong in running away to a 53-26 win in an All-American Conference non-divisional game. Senior standout Megan Sefcik was the scoring leader with 22 points, but she received plenty of support from teammates as the Falcons controlled play in every aspect.

“We had a bad night,” Bulldogs coach Adam Lewis said. “We had a bad shooting night. We had a bad defensive night. We just didn’t have it. I’m proud of everything the girls have done this year. They’ve still won 19 games and are 10-0 in the league. We didn’t show up to play tonight.”

The game drew considerable attention based on the win-loss records of both teams entering play. The Falcons are now 19-1, and the Bulldogs are 19-2.

Fitch established control at the outset and never backed off. The Falcons led, 19-8, after the first quarter and took a commanding 36-10 lead into halftime.

“We really stepped up defensively,” Falcons coach Stacie Cepin said. “They bought into what we were going to do tonight. There were a lot of people that stepped up on that defensive end that made things happen for us.”

It was no secret that the Falcons needed a big scoring night from Sefcik and a solid defensive effort on Lakeview senior Alli Pavlik, who had been averaging 27 points a game. Pavlik, who wasn’t able to get many good looks at the basket, finished with 12 points.

“We were in a zone, but we just really denied her the ball,” Cepin said. “If she got the ball we played off her.”

Sefcik, who is headed to the University of Akron on a scholarship, seemed to be everywhere. In addition to her point production, she helped set up teammates with a sound floor game and pulled down a team-high 15 rebounds.

Sefcik preferred to talk about her teammates on what was Senior Night.

“This was a team win for us,” Sefcik said. “The shots I got were from my teammates. We came out strong from the beginning and defensively we brought it to them.”

Sarah Melfe added 11 points to the Falcons’ scoring. Cassie Custer finished with 10 points.

Lewis hopes the players will take something away from the loss. Lakeview finishes the regular season Wednesday at Canfield and opens play in the Austintown Division II district Saturday at home against Salem.

“This was a hyped-up game, and maybe we bought into the hype a little bit,” Lewis said. “We’ll definitely use this for our tournament. We get to play on this floor in a couple of weeks, hopefully. I think the girls do a lot of reflecting after a game like this. This is just a minor speed bump.”