Cincinnati Princeton hands Toledo Central Catholic second loss

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Princeton 57, Toledo Central Catholic 43
The Toledo Central Catholic girls’ basketball team has had a bad
week. The Irish lost their first game of the season to league rival
Toledo Waite on Thursday and then dropped a decision to Cincinnati
Princeton, 57-43, Saturday at the Classic in the Country in Berlin. The story of the game was the outstanding rebounding of Princeton in the second half.


BERLIN – The Toledo Central Catholic girls’ basketball team has had a bad week. The Irish lost their first game of the season to league rival Toledo Waite on Thursday and then dropped a decision to Cincinnati Princeton, 57-43, Saturday at the Classic in the Country in Berlin.

The story of the game was the outstanding rebounding of the Princeton Vikings in the second half. After playing a half of basketball where they saw Central Catholic dominate the paint, Viking coach Jill Phillips challenged her girls at halftime to win the rebounding battle and her squad met the challenge.

“I believe we were outrebounded 2-1 in the first half and it cost us,” said Phillips. “I told the girls at halftime that if we outrebounded them in the second half we would win. I believe we outrebounded them (Central Catholic) badly and obviously it worked.”

Central Catholic struggled in nearly every phase of the game in the second half. As a result, a game that was once close, 26-25 Princeton at halftime, became one-sided. The Lady Irish took a brief lead in the second half but the Vikings ran off seven unanswered points and took the lead for good at 31-29 and never looked back.

“We are looking for answers right now,” said Irish coach Steve Pfahler. “We are not playing good basketball right now and I really do not know the reason why. The girls are playing scared and lacking confidence. We will regroup and attempt to come out strong tomorrow. Hopefully we will begin to play like we can.”

The Princeton attack was led by Miami University bound Ariel Thomas. Thomas, who was the game’s leading scorer with 23, played nearly the entire contest and not only led her team in scoring, but also orchestrated their offense and defense.

Only one other Viking, senior Taylor Howell, scored in double figures with 10 points.

“We entered the season with a veteran group but one that did not have much varsity experience. We started the season a little slowly but the players have developed nicely and we are starting to put it together,” said Princeton coach Jill Phillips.

The struggling Irish were led by Brianna Jones and Sharise Calhoun in scoring. Jones had 11 and Calhoun 10 but none of the points came easy for either of them.

The Viking defense kept constant pressure on the Irish backcourt personnel and, as a result, Central’s usual reliance on baskets in the paint was stymied. The 34 Irish turnovers reflect just how tough the Viking pressure was.

The road does not get any easier for Central Catholic as they must face top-ranked Lakota West Sunday evening. The Irish record now stands at 12-2. Princeton (12-4) faces Copley.

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