Friday, March 9, 2018
The girls basketball teams from Dalton and Lisbon faced off on Thursday March 8, 2018. Photos are by Bob Ettinger.
By BOB ETTINGER
There were no secrets for Lisbon girls basketball coach Jamie Entrikin entering a Division IV regional semifinal against Dalton on Thursday night.
But that couldn’t keep the Blue Devils from sputtering a bit offensively in a scoreless quarter in a 44-30 loss to the Bulldogs at Massillon Perry High School.
“We knew they were a good team defensively, Entrikin said. “There were some buckets we needed to convert and didn’t. I could tell they were a little frustrated, but they kept playing. That’s all I could ask them to do tonight. This was a whole different stage for them.”
An emotional run came to an end with the loss.
“You have to go back a bit,” Entrikin said. “I don’t know if it had anything to do with it, but the day of our first tournament game, I buried my father. At the calling hours a few days earlier, all the girls were there. It was very touching and emotional for me. I don’t know if it rallied them together or relaxed them, but something started to click.”
Entrikin was onto something.
“I wouldn’t want to do this with any other group of girls,” senior Alyssa Chestnut said. “We’re not just a team. We’re a family. It was a great run. I love my teammates. I love my coaches.”
Dalton will play Buckeye Central in the regional final at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
It all came undone as the Blue Devils (18-8) were outscored, 11-0, in the second quarter sending them to the locker room trailing 16-7.
“We just had some schemes against their quick hitters,” Dalton coach Katie Miller said. “They worked well. [Lisbon] quit doing them. We didn’t want to let Izzy [Perez] drive and we wanted to force them to kick it out. It worked out for us.”
Chestnut and the Lisbon girls were frustrated at the intermission.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Chestnut said. “We were trying so hard and the shots weren’t going in. It was a letdown. Then we tried to go down on defense and do what we couldn’t do offensively. We got frustrated.”
Maddie Beatty may have delivered the daggers to the Blue Devils’ hearts with consecutive 3-pointers midway through the third period to put the Bulldogs up, 26-13.
“It seemed like every time we scored some, they’d score right back,” Chestnut said. “They’re great shooters. It seemed like every shot went in and we couldn’t catch a break. They’re a very good team.”