Poland’s Grisdale sets school career scoring mark
POLAND — Records were meant to be broken. On Saturday afternoon at Poland, the Bulldogs’ standout senior point guard Jackie Grisdale broke the Bulldogs’ career scoring record in a 55-25 win over the Champion Golden Flashes.
Grisdale broke the previous record of 1,303 points held by Bella Gajdos from 2018. Grisdale entered the game needing just 12 points to break the mark and, at the 6:21 mark of the second quarter, she sank a 3-pointer from the left wing to send her team and the home crowd into a frenzy.
“It’s definitely been a process and a journey, but I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. I love it,” Grisdale said. “To be here with my teammates makes it even more special. I was more excited for the game, we knew Champion would be a good opponent, so that was the number one thing on my mind, getting the win. It was definitely a good bonus to get the record.
“I was not putting any pressure on myself to get it. I’m a numbers person so I have been keeping track, but not something I forced at all. I always looked up to Bella, so I have always had it in the back of my mind. She was such a great person to play with, a great teammate, I looked up to her so I think that makes it even more special to have that personal connection and she made me a better player.”
Her coach, Nick Blanch, said Grisdale is more about team.
“It’s always team first, but today that was a pretty special record. We’re all very happy for her obviously, but even she herself will tell you that the win was more important than her record,” he said.
She scored 17 points in the game while also hauling down a team-high nine rebounds. The Bulldogs put 11 players in the scoring column while outrebounding the Flashes by a 2-1 margin.
“She (Grisdale) is what we stand for with hard work and dedication,” Blanch said. “She is going to be a valedictorian and she is going to graduate with 20 varsity letters. She can play division one, division two, whatever she wants to play. Dedication to the sport, your teammates, and working incredibly hard throughout the year. She has gotten everything by her work ethic.”
“We did not want to lose contact with Grisdale,” Flashes coach Michael Cole said. “Four times we did in the first half. The fifth time she just hit a fantastic step-back shot. There isn’t anything you can do about that. But it was kind of disappointing that we got away from the game plan there in losing her. She is a fantastic player, she has such a quick shot and she’s tall, so it’s hard to stop that.”
The Bulldogs took control of the game from the opening tip as they raced out to a commanding 17-0 lead in the first quarter. The Flashes got a 3-pointer from Ava Howell with just 35 seconds remaining in the period as the Dogs held a 17-3 lead at the end first frame.
“I was actually pleased with how we handled their pressure. They had a couple of steal lay-ups, and that was the one thing I was worried about the most,” Cole said. “I thought we were getting shots, and we couldn’t make them. My assistant just said that this was probably the worst shooting we have had since maybe I have been here. Inside, mid-range, three’s, speed of the game they (Poland) try to make you take those quick ones. But we have good shooters, we expect to hit some of those.”
“We always focus on trying to start the game by setting the tone for the game,” Blanch said. “Someone is going to set the tone one way or the other, and we prefer it to be us. We’re not always the biggest kids on the court, but if you body them up, height doesn’t really matter that much.”
When Grisdale hit her 3-pointer to break the record the Dogs held a 23-3 lead and went on to lead 35-10 at intermission. They stretched their advantage to 50-15 by the end of the third quarter. The Flashes kept battling as they outscored the Bulldogs 10-5 in the final stanza to reach the 30-point final margin.
The Flashes will return to the court Monday when they entertain Garrettsville Garfield. The Bulldogs also play on Monday when they return to league action in traveling to Hubbard.