the Classic in the Country still reeling from losses suffered the
previous evening. Obviously only one of them could prevail and
Lakota West coach Andy Fishman was glad that it was his Firebirds that
did so by outscoring the Lady Irish, 82-68. West senior Amber Gray, a Tennessee recruit, led the way with 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
BERLIN – Toledo Central Catholic and Lakota West entered their match-up Sunday at the Classic in the Country still reeling from losses suffered the previous evening.
Obviously only one of them could prevail and Lakota West coach Andy Fishman was glad that it was his Firebirds that did so by outscoring the Lady Irish, 82-68.
For Central Catholic it was their third consecutive loss after opening the season with 12 straight victories. The three losses came at the ends of quality teams but Central coach Steve Pfahler is not sure what is wrong with his Lady Irish.
“I told the girls that in the case of the first two losses that we had already beaten better teams and that they needed to pick their game up,” Pfahler said. “This loss is not easy but Lakota West is a good team and there is no embarrassment in losing to them. Hopefully, we will go on from here and learn from it.”
Lakota West had their offensive machine working smoothly Sunday. Unlike Saturday, the Firebirds were hitting their shots from the field. As a team, the Firebirds shot better than 50-percent overall, and nearly 40-percent from three point territory. This hot shooting seem to frustrate the Lady Irish and make any attempted comeback impossible.
After an opening first quarter in which only two points separated the teams, 18-16, the Firebirds bought themselves some breathing room in the second quarter by outscoring the Lady Irish, 22-15.
As would be expected, Lakota West’s Amber Gray led the second quarter assault for the Firebirds on her way to a 29 point performance. When she was not scoring points herself she was seemingly dishing the ball off to others so that they could score.
“We had more confidence in ourselves and we did what we needed to do,”said Gray. “It's great because (the guards) know when they get the ball to me or Alexis or any of the other posts, we're going to kick it back out to them because they're going to be wide open. All teams key on me and Lex, so once we get the ball and drop it in, if we see them open, then they've got open shots.”
Any thoughts of a comeback by Central Catholic were extinguished in the third quarter as Lakota West’s offense continued to pile up the points. Matching their offensive output from the second quarter, 22 points, the Firebirds opened up a 15 point lead entering the fourth quarter and, although the Lady Irish attempted to battle back, the Firebirds were never seriously challenged.
As noted, Gray led the Firebirds in scoring with 29 points but teammate, Alexis Rogers, also scored in double figures by scoring 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor. Gray added to her outstanding performance by pulling down nine rebounds and seven assists.
For the now 12-3 Lady Irish, their two big scoring stars remain to be Sharise Calhoun and Brianna Jones. Calhoun led the team with 15 points but did so on mediocre shooting (7-of-21) while Jones added 11.
“(Saturday night) wasn't our night,” said Lakota West coach Andy Fishman. “It was a lucky time for us to have a bad night and it's fortunate that we don't have to end our season that way. You're either going to fold or you're going to show that you're better. They found that within themselves and played better.”