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Garfield tops LaBrae in conference tilt

Staff photo / Brian Yauger Garfield’s Sydney Seaman dribbles past LaBrae’s Kearston Brewer Thursday night in a 58-41 victory.

GARRETTSVILLE — In the first meeting of the year, Garfield and LaBrae came down to the wire.

The second meeting however, was a little more lopsided in favor of the G-Men. Garfield came out hot, scoring 18 points, and kept the momentum, beating the Vikings for the season sweep, 58-41.

“Last time we played against them it was a close game, and we had to hit a buzzer-beater at their place,” G-Men coach Aaron Gilbert said. “We had about a 13 or 14 point lead at halftime, kind of like it was tonight. As long as they’ve got (Laura) McCoy and (Jahnya) Dorsey on the floor, they’re going to be in games.

“McCoy is as good as anyone in the area and you just don’t want her to get going. She had four at halftime and then she got hot in the second half and the game got close.”

Sarah Seaman and Jenna Smith were a big part of the first-half Garfield surge. Seaman, who finished with a career-high 22 points, hit four first-half 3-pointers and had 16 in the first half. Smith also finished the night with 22.

The pair of seniors have been crucial in filling the hole left by Grace Mills, who graduated last year. It’s not just them however. The whole team is getting into a rhythm which is making it easier to get around defenses.

“We had to make some adjustments,” Gilbert said. “You lose an all-Ohio player and 1,600-point scorer. I mean, yeah, you’ve got a good core back, but Grace did a lot of things for us and allowed us to do a lot of things. Defensively you know, you had three weapons so you can’t double everybody. Now this year we’ve got two, but we’ve got four others that are really starting to get into their groove.

“You want to double Sarah, now these people are open. You want to double Jen, now (Sydney Seaman), now (Nora Trent), now Maggie (Fogel) started to hit some shots. I think we’re finally getting comfortable with who we’re playing with, and where they’re going to be on the floor.”

LaBrae falls to 8-6 on the year. Like their record indicates, the team has had plenty of ups and downs. Unfortunately for the Vikings, they’ve been losing girls for one reason or another and getting other girls back, so there’s a lack of cohesion in the team’s lineup.

“We haven’t had our full team since probably our eighth game,” LaBrae coach Mandy Rowe said. “We’ve just had girls in and out for different reasons, so getting them to all gel together has been a little bit tricky. We’ve got everybody healthy now, so we’re going to try to get back into it.”

With a stacked league, every win for both of these teams is extra important.

The G-Men, coming off a district championship, have run a gauntlet of a schedule this season. The road doesn’t get any easier as Garfield (8-5) opens next week with Tallmadge before taking on Bristol and Campbell.

The Vikings travel to Brookfield on Monday to take on the Warriors.

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