GIRLS BASKETBALL Hubbard works overtime to give Girard first loss
By DOUG CHAPIN
HUBBARD -- Hubbard High scored the first six points of overtime and made some shaky free throw shooting stand up for a 61-56 victory Thursday over visiting Girard in a Trumbull Athletic Conference girls basketball showdown.
The Eagles (8-2, 6-1 TAC) were paced by Jami Duvall with 19 points, Katy Jo Mroski with 16 and Lynley Cornell with 14. Girard (8-1, 5-1) got 23 points from freshman Cachet Murray and 17 from Tealle Hunkus.
Little time to act: "I think in girls basketball overtime is almost like sudden death in hockey," Hubbard coach Dave Konczal said. "If you get the first basket it seems to make the other team rush and hurry. Of course, if we had made more free throws, we wouldn't have been sweating bullets at the end."
The score was tied at 50 after regulation, but Hubbard got baskets from Cornell, Jill Phillips and Duvall in the first two minutes of overtime. Girard closed to within 58-56 with 34 seconds remaining after Murray scored two straight baskets.
Duvall made just the first of two free throws with 18 seconds remaining, but Mroski ran down the rebound on the miss. Duvall was fouled again with 14 seconds to go and made it 60-56, by making the second of two. Mroski added the final point, splitting a pair of free throws with two seconds to play.
Girard also had trouble shooting in the extra session, missing its first four shots and the front end of two one-and-one's.
"The girls made a good effort coming back in the overtime," Girard coach Andy Saxon said. "We just missed some layups and our free throw shooting was not good."
By the numbers: For the game, the Indians were just 14-of-24 at the line, but Hubbard was only 8-of-18. Girard was just 19-of-61 from the field, including 4-of-17 from 3-point range. The Eagles were 24-of-56 overall and 5-of-18 from behind the arc.
A 15-0 run in the second quarter helped the Indians to a 31-23 halftime lead. Girard's largest lead of the game was 11 points (36-25) with 5:45 remaining in the third period. The Indians still led by 10 with 3:48 to play in the quarter before Hubbard began a comeback.
"Offensively, I thought we were too impatient," Konczal said. "Girard was taking away our post play and I thought we settled for the 3-pointer too quickly. We talked about being more patient on offense and working our way back into the game.
"We think we can play up-tempo -- after all, we lost to Boardman 70-68 -- but the key tonight was playing at the tempo we wanted to play," Konczal continued.
The Indians definitely wanted an up-tempo game.
"Our philosophy is up-tempo, we want to run and press," Saxon said. "The girls did a nice job keeping the ball out on the perimeter and out of the post, but then they hit some 3-pointers."
Finding a way: The up-tempo philosophy has helped Girard to its outstanding start, which has come with no seniors in the starting lineup.
"Last year we went 5-15, but in the second half of the season we started playing better and the girls worked hard in the summer," Saxon said.
Murray put Girard ahead 50-49 with 16 seconds remaining in regulation by making two free throws. Hubbard's Anna DeJulio sent the game into overtime by making the first of two free throws with seven seconds to go. The game-tying shot rolled around the rim before falling in.
Mroski, a 6-2 junior, and Phillips, a 6-1 junior, had 12 rebounds apiece for Hubbard. Mroski also had four blocked shots, Cornell had four steals and Duvall four assists. Girard was paced by Kristen Ragozine with 10 rebounds, Hunkus with nine boards, Murray with five steals and Stephanie Scarnecchia with four assists.