Lengyl, Terranova step up for JM in OT
By Greg Gulas
In 32 minutes of regulation, Haley Lengyel had just a bucket from beyond the arc in the opening period to show for her efforts.
Her six points in overtime, including all four free-throw opportunities and a 23-point outburst from Michaelina Terranova helped the Jackson-Milton girls to a 58-52 overtime win Thursday over Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference foe Western Reserve.
The win by the Blue Jays (11-0, 7-0; MVAC) also kept them undefeated in seven home outings this season.
Trailing 45-43 with 69 seconds remaining in the game, Jackson-Milton’s Emily Williams knotted the score 18 seconds later with a jumper in the lane, only to have Western Reserve (8-3, 5-2; MVAC) reclaim a 47-45 lead on a hoop by Alyssa Serensky with 31 seconds left on the clock.
Williams was then fouled with 8.6 seconds remaining, calmly toeing the line and sinking both free throws to knot the game at 47-all and force an extra session.
Lengyel figured that it was time she stepped up to be a difference-maker.
“Coach [Pat Keney] always tells us before a game to make this the best game that we’ll ever play,” Lengyel said. “In overtime, all I wanted to do was contribute and when I went to the line, all I thought about was this shot was going in for the team, not me. It’s great to remain undefeated, but really nice to see that all of our hard work is beginning to pay off.”
Seven points by Terranova in the second period couldn’t offset Western Reserve’s nine of 12 showing at the free throw stripe as the Blue Devils opened a 24-22 halftime advantage.
Terranova scored 13 of her game-high 23 points in the opening half.
“I didn’t expect them to come out and be as aggressive as they were, but they’re a good team and they know our game,” Terranova said. “At halftime, coach Keney told us to be more aggressive and to get up on the ball. They had the height advantage, so we wanted to guard them tight and force them to shoot from the outside.”
Neither team could mount much offense in the third quarter, but Laura Sigworth’s triple with a little over a minute remaining was enough to knot the game at 33-33 with one quarter remaining.
Despite the loss, Blue Devils coach Steve Miller said his team will learn from this experience.
“This was a good, championship team that we played today in Jackson-Milton. They’ve been to the regionals the last two years and we knew that it would be a tight game, especially playing on their court,” Miller said. “Our goal from the first day of practice has been to win the district and the last four years, the road to the district has gone through either Western Reserve or Jackson-Milton. The key tonight though was they made plays when they had to.”
Williams and Lengyel each finished with nine points for Jackson-Milton while Serensky had a team-high 13 points for the Blue Devils.
Sigworth finished with a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds) and Hughes 11 points for Western Reserve, which held a 42-33 rebound advantage.