Dubec’s 16 points lead Struthers past Lakeview
By Tom Williams
Battling a double-digit deficit for much of the game, the Lakeview High girls basketball team finally found first gear late in Monday’s game against Struthers.
But after whittling the Wildcats’ substantial lead to six points with about four minutes to play, the defending All-American Conerence White Tier champions went into overdrive.
Adrianna Garchar’s steal and coast-to-coast layup with 3:30 remaining ignited an 8-0 finish by Struthers in a 55-41 victory in the Bulldogs’ gymnasium.
“We called a timeout and we talked about buckling down on defense, getting good ball pressure and also clearing them out,” said Struthers varsity assistant coach Bill Neider who filled in for an ill John Grandy.
Baskets by McKenna Shives, Amanda Ditman and Hannah Dubec sealed the victory for the first-place Wildcats (6-2, 2-0) who plan to defend their title.
“We have a point to prove and I think we proved it tonight,” said Dubec who scored 16 points, pulled down eight rebounds and blocked a shot. “Losing our five seniors last year, we knew we had to step it up. We’re working hard to get after it.”
Neider said Dubec has been “getting better every game and she’s starting to improve around the basket.”
Ali Gagne kept the Bulldogs (3-6, 0-2) in the game while the rest of her team struggled to find the net. Late in the third quarter, Gagne had scored 27 of her team’s 30 points to keep the Bulldogs within striking distance.
“She’s a good player and she knows how to play,” Dubec said. “We just had to step up and stop her.”
The Wildcats succeeded as Gagne was held scoreless down the stretch.
“It’s always tough to play against a girl of that caliber,” Neider said. “We knew coming in that she was probably going to get her points so our approach was to make them tough shots.
“I thought we got to her a little bit early, but she responded well,” Neider said.
Lakeview coach Adam Lewis said Struthers’ rebounding skills were the difference.
“They killed us on the offensive board,” Lewis said. “They had 19 or 20 offensive rebounds and to give a team like that second and third opportunities, it’s really difficult to pull out a win.”
Garchar finished with nine points and Ditman had eight.
For the Bulldogs, Jamie Sentner and Alisha Nichols each netted five points.
Afterward, Neider admitted feeling a little nervous before the game. “I didn’t want to let Coach Grandy down, he’s down such a good job with the program,” Neider said. “He’s a special coach.”