By Brandon Judeh
Another of the Valley’s unbeaten has fallen as the Fitch girl’s basketball team defeated the Struthers, 62-57, Thursday night in Austintown.
Things were dominated, start to finish, by one of the area’s most highly-touted players, Megan Sefcik.
“This was a huge win for us, especially because a couple games ago we were coming off of a tough loss to Canfield, so we needed this game in the worst way,” Sefcik said.
She put on one of her usual performances, as she scored 31 points and added five boards.
Perhaps the most impressive part of her offesnive explosion was the fact that 20 of those points came from the foul line, where she was 20-21.
Despite her team going 29-38 from the charity stripe, she says they still need to improve on their foul shots.
“We need to work on our free throw shooting a bit, we struggle from time to time with that, but we are doing a great job on the defensive side of things and this group that we have works really well together,” Sefcik said.
After the Wildcats (9-1) took a slim lead into the second quarter, the Falcons (8-1) came out soaring before half time.
Fitch opened up the quarter on a 10-2 run, thanks in large part to their full-court press, which led to plenty of turnovers.
“Part of what we do is we wear people out, we have a deep bench which enables us to do so,” said Fitch coach Stacie Cepin.
“Give credit to Struthers, they are a well-coached team and have a great program. They kept fighting and hanging around.”
Early in the third quarter, with Fitch up by six, the combination of McKenna Shives and Ashleigh Ryan got the Wildcats back in the game.
On four-consecutive possessions, Struthers hit three triples, two by Ryan and one by Shives, and added another field goal to give the Wildcats a five-point lead.
Momentum, once again, would swing in the fourth quarter.
Fitch quickly took the lead and never looked back as Sefcik hit 10 of her 20 free throws in the quarter to help her team to victory.
“I thought that, at times, we lost our composure out there,” said Wildcats head coach John Grandy. “But we have a good group of kids, we are going to regroup and get back to work,”
Struthers was in foul trouble early and they had two girls foul out and three more that had four fouls.
“Our energy was high the entire game, but a couple of our girls got in foul trouble during the first quarter and that threw our strategy off a bit,” Shives said.
Shives scored 22 points, including four 3-pointers.
Ryan chipped in with 20 points and six assists.
For the Falcons, Cassie Custer scored 10 points and grabbed a tea- high six rebounds, while Brenda Thompson scored nine points.