Lady Irish to a 58-41 win over Toledo Notre Dame Saturday afternoon in
the Fairfield Federal All-Ohio Prep Shootout at Pickerington Central. “Our girls were very focused for this game,” Scioto coach Todd
Hardesty said. “They were focused in the morning shoot around and in
warm-ups before the game. We were definitely ready to play this game.”
PICKERINGTON – An early lead and a fourth quarter surge propelled the Dublin Scioto Lady Irish to a 58-41 win over Toledo Notre Dame Saturday afternoon in the Fairfield Federal All-Ohio Prep Shootout at Pickerington Central.
“Our girls were very focused for this game,” Scioto coach Todd Hardesty said. “They were focused in the morning shoot around and in warm-ups before the game.
“We were definitely ready to play this game.”
Kesi Hess led Scioto with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Brandi Gorniak followed with 14 points, eight steals and five rebounds, and Kate Papesh added nine points.
“Trying to get into the passing lane and forcing turnovers is always part of our strategy,” Gorniak said of her eight steals. “We were able to get some transition baskets in the first half and that helped us to build a lead.”
Scioto (14-2) dictated the game early by getting in Notre Dame’s passing lanes to force six turnovers, while limiting the Lady Eagles to one field goal in the period. The Lady Irish turned the extra chances into transition baskets, helping to fuel an 11-0 run, paced by Gorniak scoring seven points. Scioto held a 17-4 advantage after the first period.
“We were very aggressive in the first half,” Hardesty said. “We knew they were going to press us and try to force some turnovers. Their press did bother us some. But we can play that way too. We have 67 girls who can play a fast game or settle down and run our half court offense.
“We played Notre Dame’s game and we were able to beat them at it. That says a lot because they are a very good basketball team.”
Hess tallied nine points in the second quarter for Scioto as the Lady Irish expanded its lead to 32-16 at the break.
Notre Dame (11-3) fought back in the third quarter, outscoring Scioto 14-9. Eagle junior guard Jasmine Blanton tallied nine points in the period for Notre Dame, and began the fourth period with an old-fashioned three-point play to cut the Scioto lead down to 41-33.
The Lady Irish responded with a 12-0 run, fueled by Gorniak hitting a three-pointer to halt the Notre Dame surge, and Christine Simpson connecting on a turnaround jumper.
“Give credit to Notre Dame. They forced some turnovers and (Blanton) made some good baskets,” Hardesty said. “That’s why we like to play games like this. Notre Dame is a fine basketball team, and we knew we were going to get a good challenge and have to play four quarters. These are the type of basketball games that help you down the line in February and March.
“Our girls deserve credit at the same time. They responded to the Notre Dame run with a 12-0 run of their own to take regain control of the game. They showed composure when the game was back on the line.”
Blanton led Notre Dame with 20 points and five rebounds. Erica Donovan chipped in 11 points.
Scioto finished the game converting 18 of 44 shots, while Notre Dame hit 14 of 50 opportunities. The Lady Irish outrebounded Notre Dame 30-24, but barely lost the turnover battle, committing 20 turnovers to 19 for the Lady Eagles.
The Lady Irish travel to Big Walnut Tuesday for an Ohio Capital Conference game.