The Eagles will play Salem next.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
AUSTINTOWN -- The Hubbard High girls basketball team used a lesson in history to advance in the Division II tournament.
To ease any anxiety his players might have against facing unbeaten Southeast, Eagles coach Dave Konczal talked about tournaments of the past.
"We talked about the fact that Southeast has not had a lot of tournament success with some really good records," Konczal said.
"We told our kids that tournaments are a different game and you have to look at, not the fact that they are 20-0, but what they've done in the tournament the last couple of years."
Moving on: Leading from start to finish, Hubbard eliminated the third-seeded Pirates 59-42 Monday at Fitch High. The Eagles will play Salem at 6 p.m. Thursday in a sectional final; the Quakers defeated Niles 63-29.
"Things went well for us for 20 games," Southeast coach Vic Marozzi said. "Tonight just wasn't our night."
Hubbard (18-3) thrived on the inside presence of Katy Jo Mroski and Jill Phillips, good guard play and the resilience of Lynle Cornell to beat the Portage County League champion.
"We thought we had a quickness advantage at the guards," Konczal said. "We thought if we could get in the paint and dish the ball, we could make some things happen."
Mroski and Phillips controlled the paint for the Eagles as each recorded double-doubles. Mroski totaled 22 points and 20 rebounds, while Phillips had 10 points and 13 rebounds. "I was just focused on getting rebounds," Mroski said. "I knew I had to box out [Southeast's] Lisa Dubinsky because we knew she'd go to the boards hard."
Down but not out: Cornell was able to bounce back from a nasty collision, which opened a wide knot on her forehead, with teammate Anna DeJulio. "We went after the ball at the same time," Cornell recalled. "I hit her head-on. I closed my eyes when I did it, so I don't remember hitting her. Anna actually got the rough end of the deal."
The collision occurred with 2 minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the first half. Cornell and DeJulio collided with great force as each tumbled to the floor. Within seconds, the knot developed on Cornell's forehead before she and DeJulio went to the bench for ice.
"Our trainer held Anna out because she had a headache and a little bit of dizziness," Konczal said. "[The trainer] said Lynle was fine -- she just looked bad, with the knot on her head."
Cornell, who scored 11 points, returned at 5:36 of the third quarter and quickly drilled a 3-pointer to increase Hubbard's lead to 33-22.
"She's a good offensive player," Konczal said of Cornell. "She keeps our big girls at-large; you can't come off of her because she's such a good shooter."
In the second half, Southeast couldn't cut its deficit any more than eight points as Hubbard pulled away.
Kara Gintert led the Pirates with 11 points.