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GIRLS DIV. IV ICL rivals work overtime, but Lowellville beats J-M



Published: Sun, February 24, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Western Reserve held Lordstown to 19 points in the other game.

By GARY HOUSTEAU

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

LIBERTY -- It took overtime for Lowellville to defeat Jackson-Milton 51-48 in the nightcap of the Division IV girls basketball tournament Saturday at Liberty High School

The top four seeds advanced to the district semifinals.

The Rockets, who led 36-31 heading into the final period, stretched it to 41-33 with 4 minutes, 49 seconds remaining in the game before the Bluejays stormed back, scoring the final eight points of the quarter to force the extra session.

"We played these guys now for the third time and they've played us tough every time," said Lowellville coach Tony Matisi. "We had a nice eight-point lead and then I think we sort of tried to coast in and we couldn't because they didn't give up."

It was a totally different scenario, however, for Lowellville in overtime as it scored the first six points of the extra session and never looked back. Amanda and Tami Nero combined to score nine of the 10 points in overtime for the Rockets.

Amanda Nero, who led all scorers with 19 points and added 14 rebounds, had four points from the field in overtime, while Tami Nero, with 14 points, had all five of her points from the free throw line. Danielle Hvisdak had 10 points for Lowellville before fouling out in regulation.

"We preached to them the whole game to penetrate and in the overtime I think we penetrated a lot more than we did the entire game, and I think that's what bailed us out," Matisi said. "Down the line Tami Nero did a great job for us."

Jesi Hemphill, who led Jackson-Milton with 17 points and 18 rebounds, spearheaded the late rally, scoring four of the final eight points in the fourth quarter, with one of those baskets coming after she blocked a Rocket shot.

The Bluejays actually missed an opportunity to take the lead late in the game when Sarah Johnson stepped to the line for three free throw attempts, her team trailing by a bucket with 2:42 on the clock in regulation. But she made only one to cut the margin to one.

Johnson scored 12 points and added eight rebounds. Heather Teets made the last free throw for Jackson Milton to send it into overtime.

"I think we had their number, it just didn't work out for us," said Jackson-Milton coach Jeff Eisenbraun. "They made a couple of big plays and a couple of big buckets, and they got to the foul line more in overtime than we did and that was the difference."

Western Reserve 42, Lordstown 19: With the victory, Lowellville will take on Western Reserve for the third time now, as the Blue Devils won their sectional final with Lordstown.

"We had a very sluggish first half, we seemed to really have a problem getting it going early," said Western Reserve coach Eric Kalina. "We were able to pick up the pressure some in the second half and that seemed to get us rolling a little bit more."

Anna Maria Ricciardi led the Blue Devils with 18 points and contributed six rebounds in the contest, while Emily Freudenrich scored eight points and added 10 rebounds to lead Lordstown in both departments.

Mikah Berger had six points and six rebounds, while Jen White had seven rebounds for Western Reserve, while Natalie Bailey grabbed seven rebounds for Lordstown.




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