The Raiders had little trouble dismissing Western Reserve.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NORTH LIMA -- South Range High senior Jenn Toth was at a loss for words. Sort of.
"It's exciting. It's great. It's awesome. I don't know how to describe it," she said. "We've worked so hard to get to this point. It's great to finally be here."
The Inter-County League champions put an exclamation point on a nearly perfect regular season Wednesday by rolling over visiting Western Reserve, 61-25.
"I was worried going into the game about how we would play after having already clinched the league title," Raiders coach Don Feren said. "But our seniors came out relaxed and we played well. The four seniors played their last home game Wednesday.
"They'll always remember this game," Feren said.
Blemish: They'll also remember another game from this season. The Raiders (19-1, 13-1) missed 21 free throws in a 54-51 overtime loss to Springfield on Jan. 24, costing them an undefeated season.
South Range's first tournament game will be on Feb. 24 against the winner of Monday's Crestview-Springfield game. Guess who the Raiders want to play?
"Springfield," senior Kristin Skrinyer said. "We want another chance at them. Even though we're not 20-0, we're still one of the best teams South Range has ever had."
Junior Kelly James led the Raiders with 14 points and nine rebounds and senior Crystal Schuler added 11 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. Senior Becky Skowron had 10 points and five assists. Neither Skrinyer and Toth have great statistics, but they're content to play the background role.
"Just being able to play is enough for me. It helps me get rid of my frustration," Toth said.
Great start: South Range jumped out to a 15-5 lead after the first quarter and extended it to 38-13 at halftime. The Blue Devils played the Raiders close in their first meeting, but never seemed to get in sync on Wednesday.
Western Reserve shot 10-for-55 (18 percent) from the field, 4-for-12 at the free throw line and committed 25 turnovers.
Ann Marie Ricciardi had seven points, five rebounds and four steals for the Blue Devils. Jen White added seven points and five rebounds. Jen Hallos had four points and eight rebounds in the first half, but suffered a compound fracture of her lower right leg right before halftime. Paramedics carried Hallos out on a stretcher.