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Lordstown’s Cash, Maplewood’s Sloan carry their teams



Published: Fri, March 1, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Matthew Peaslee

sports@vindy.com

ROOTSTOWN

A block party hosted by Lordstown’s Sarah Cash went down on Thursday night at Rootstown High.

Once the confetti was cleared and the streamers were taken down, Maplewood’s Miranda Sloan stole the show — literally.

Cash had six blocks with 24 points as the Red Devils downed Cornerstone Christian Academy, 63-41, in a Division IV district semifinal. Sloan helped complete a 3-game season sweep of Bristol with career highs in steals (10) and points (29) in the Rockets’ 63-46 win in the nightcap.

“I kind of expected it to be us and Lordstown after the tournament draw and how the bracket looked,” said Maplewood coach Mark Yoder. “They have one of the best players in northeast Ohio and we’ll have our work cut out for us.”

The Rockets (20-5) beat the Devils, 63-29, on Jan. 26. Their two previous wins over Bristol (16-7) came by a combined seven points. This is just Maplewood’s second time in the district final. Its last appearance was in 2008.

“The game plan we had drawn up for Bristol played into Miranda’s hand because she is on the top of the press,” Yoder said. “She converts turnovers into easy points and she’s been fired up for this game all week.”

The sophomore had six steals in the first quarter.

“That fired us up a lot,” Sloan said. “I think it got our intensity into the game right away. Bristol is one of our biggest rivals and we knew they’d come out hot. Getting steals right off the bat really helped.”

The Rockets had 20 steals and forced 27 turnovers. Conversely, they turned the ball over 23 times.

“We played really sloppy on offense,” Yoder said. “Basically the only thing that won that game for us was that we outhustled them.”

Allison Bell had 11 points with eight rebounds for Maplewood and Brooke Dawson added seven points.

For Bristol, Laurin Elza drained four 3-pointers and finished with 15 points. Ally Jones had 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

“We never gave up this whole season and we didn’t really play a horrible game,” said Panthers coach Lisa Gabrielson, whose uncle passed away earlier in the day.

“Those turnovers killed us. That’s the bottom line.”

Turnovers also did in CCA (16-4) in the first game.

Cash added nine steals to her stat line, Marlena Liming had 12 points and three assists as Allison Hajnosz scored eight points with three steals for Lordstown (20-4). Mary Bennett chipped in with nine points.

“They focused a lot on Sarah and the other girls stepped up and did their part,” Lordstown coach Dave Smith said.

Cash said Lordstown hasn’t forgotten its last loss to Maplewood.

“We want to win the championship,” she said. “We want to play good defense again in the next game and be smart in the next couple of games.”


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