Bulldogs’ Pavlansky hits 1,000th point
By Brooke meenachan
Saturday’s Struthers-Lakeview girls basketball showdown ended with a fourth-quarter winner-take-all battle. Lakeview’s Annie Pavlansky and Struthers’ Khaylah Brown put on a show down the stretch as the Wildcats prevailed, 64-57.
Pavlansky scored her 1,000th career point as Lakeview (9-7, 1-4 All-American Conference Red) fought off a 12-point deficit in the final eight minutes.
Pavlansky said she was shocked by the news of her 1,000 point and added it doesn’t affect her moving forward.
“Just have to stop being satisfied,” Pavlansky said. “Keep working hard and doing what you need to do to win.”
At the start of the final quarter, Pavlansky took the ball to the hole, counted it and topped it off with a foul shot to cut the Wildcats’ lead to single digits.
“It comes from the trust from the coaches and other players around me,” Pavlansky said. “Having their trust makes it a lot easier to play that role.”
Brown played that role for Struthers (11-4, 7-0 All-American Conference White).
“Khaylah really stepped up big,” Struthers assistant coach Bill Neider said. “We kind of wanted to get the ball to her in space and we felt that with that spacing she could get to the basket and make some things happen.”
Brown hit a foul shot at the 7:30 mark then sank a basket and drew another foul. She made that shot, too, which put Struthers up by 11.
Pavlansky responded with a jumper to make it 47-36. Brown countered with a bucket of her own to give Struthers its largest lead.
Pavlansky wasn’t going down without a fight and neither were her teammates. The Bulldogs scored six straight points with 2:48 left to put them within eight.
Brown stopped the run by taking the ball coast-to-coast for a basket. Pavlansky responded again by draining a 3-pointer.
The Bulldogs climbed to within five before Brown scored another basket.
With 1:31 remaining, Lakeview cut Struthers’ lead down to four. The Bulldogs were forced to foul and the Wildcats went 4-10 from the line in the final minute.
Pavlansky, who scored 29 points, netted a 3-pointer with five seconds remaining, but it was too late.
Lakeview head coach Jason Senedak had nothing but praise for the junior.
“She’s an exceptional kid,” Senedak said of Pavlansky. “She’s always in the gym, always working hard.
“She’s more about the team than anything else,” Senedak said. “The success of the team is how she defines her success. It shows in who she is as a person, but also in her work ethic as an athlete.”
The Bulldogs had plenty of opportunity to take control, but missed foul shots cost them seven points in the fourth quarter alone.
“We’ve had a couple of games where we’ve won because we made our free throws and obviously today wasn’t one of those days,” Senedak said.
Brown led the Wildcats with 26 points and stepped up when they needed her most.
“She always does,” Alexis Bury said. “When we need her, she’s there. She does anything she can for us.”
Bury sat out a majority of the fourth quarter with four fouls. She returned with three minutes remaining, but fouled out less than 30 seconds later.
“She’s our best on ball defender and everything goes through her. Once she’s out of the game, we’re kind of scrambling.” Neider said.
Trinity McDowell joined her on the bench after committing a foul 74 feet away from Lakeview’s basket.
“She’s about 6-foot-1 and she’s a good rebounder,” Neider said. “You take her out, you’re missing some rebounds and you’re losing someone who’s going to protect the basket.”
The Wildcats struggled at the foul line as well, hitting 15-35.
“When we come back, we get back to fundamentals, but I guarantee you there will be some free throws,” Neider said.