SHAKER HTS. 59
Next: Harding at Jefferson, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
By Doug Chapin
A disastrous third quarter put Harding High in too deep a hole to climb out of Saturday afternoon in a 59-51 girls basketball loss to Shaker Heights. The visitors, 15-3, finished 8-0 in the Lake Erie League Lake Division, including a 68-65 home victory over Harding in mid-January.
Warren (13-5, 5-3) led 15-12 after one quarter and trailed just 26-25 at halftime. Shaker scored the first 10 points of the third quarter and held a 22-7 advantage for the period.
The visitors shot 7-for-13 for the quarter and 8-for-8 from the line. Harding was just 3-for-9 from the field. Shaker Heights took a 48-32 lead into the final quarter and the home team never got closer than five in the final period.
“We didn’t come out [of halftime] with the intensity to match them,” Harding coach P.J. Notar said. “That was the first time in our 18 games that we looked bad, it was disappointing. If we played that third quarter like we played the other three, it could have been a different outcome. You’ve got to play four quarters against a team like that.
“We came out and played four quarters against Howland and we’re in the ball game. We came out today … it’s not going to cut the mustard when you play a team like that.”
The Raiders are coming off an emotional 45-44 loss on Thursday to Howland. The Tigers posted a 77-62 victory over Shaker Heights on Feb. 5.
“We were worried about coming off Thursday’s game and having to play again in 48 hours. Even if we win against Howland you still worry about the letdown you can have from the exhaustion of winning the ball game,” Notar said. “Either way, you’ve got to play the game. It’s like life, you’ve got to get yourself up every day to go to work no matter what the emotions are.”
Shaker is seeded third and Harding fourth in the Division I district at Warrensville Heights. If they meet a third time it would be in the district final. Howland is seeded second in the tournament.
Shelby Stokes had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead Shaker Heights. Jordyn Peck scored 16 points, including nine from the free throw line. Chyress Lockhart added nine points and four assists and Takeisha Harden grabbed 10 rebounds.
Junior forward Anita Brown had 15 points and eight rebounds to lead Harding. Kourtney Williams had 13 points and six boards. Brianna McCurdy added eight points and Diamonn Hymes made four steals.
Shaker Heights coach Mike Coreno was obviously pleased with his team’s defensive effort coming out of the halftime break.
“Athletically they match up with us and that was one of our concerns, we thought it might be a track meet. But … we are able to mix up some defenses and play some zones and use some different pressures.”