The taller Trumbull team pulled away from the smaller Mahoning squad to win, 75-57.
By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
WARREN -- Lowellville coach Doug Pollack joked with his group of seven Mahoning County players prior to the tip-off of the inaugural girls game of the Frank Bubba Memorial Classic.
With his team clearly outmatched in depth and size by the Trumbull County team, Pollack tried to reassure his squad that they could make Friday's all-star game competitive at Warren Harding High School.
"Don't worry," Pollack said. "We're just going to run and gun them and have fun. Now sit here and save your energy. You're going to need it."
That attitude helped make for a fun game as Trumbull County was able to wear down the smaller Mahoning team in the second half, and pull away for a 75-57 victory.
The Trumbull team featured nine players, including four that were more than six feet tall.
Phillips is MVP
Hubbard's 6-foot-2-inch Jill Phillips was named MVP of her team after scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
"I think we wore them down," said Trumbull coach Andy Saxon of Girard. "It was a fun game to coach. I just sat back and let them play."
The Yellow team jumped out to a 15-5 lead as Howland's Darcy Quinlan and Brookfield's Holly DeMay had hot hands.
Quinlan, who was named MVP at Wednesday's Al Beach Classic at Boardman, could have easily won MVP honors here after scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
DeMay also scored 11 of her 13 points in the first half, as Trumbull looked like they would have an easy night against the Mahoning team.
"No way," Pollack said. "These kids were competitive. Once our outside shots started falling, we were able to make a game of it in the first half."
The Mahoning squad came back behind good shooting of Canfield's Kelly Williams, Ursuline's Amber Miller and Harding's Sharina Freeman.
Freeman is MVP
Freeman, the Mahoning team's MVP, scored nine of her game-high 17 points in the first half while Miller scored eight of her 10 and Williams seven of her 13 in the first 16 minutes of play.
After trailing by as may as 18 points, Mahoning closed strong. A basket by Kristie Marapiese of Struthers at the buzzer made the score 41-33 at halftime. Marapiese finished with 11 points.
Trumbull took control quickly in the second half and their size became too much of an obstacle for the Mahoning team to overcome.
Phillips scored eight points in the second half and helped her team dominate the rebounding by a margin of 58-32.
"The score doesn't matter," Phillips said. "When you're playing with and against the best players in the area, the competition is strong and the game was fun.
"It was a real honor to win this [MVP plaque]," Phillips said. "It means a lot to me to be able to play so well against girls of this caliber."