By Amy Rutledge
Although North Olmsted came out victorious, playing consistently through the second half is one area in which the team needs to improve.
“We’re struggling with putting teams away in the third quarter,” said Eagles head coach Cheryl Bansek. “If we’re tied or have a sizable lead after the first two quarters we just don’t seem to be able to get it done in the third quarter. It’s a sign of a young team.”
Too many unsuccessful shots put the Bulldogs far behind, making it difficult to catch up and take the lead.
“I was feeling good. I thought it could be a competitive game,” said Olmsted Falls head coach Matt Fulton. “I thought we matched up pretty well. I think we had a decent flurry in the fourth quarter. We just couldn’t get over the hump.
“We just got too far away. We weren’t scoring very well today.”
Height and speed were two challenges the Bulldogs couldn’t overcome.
“We didn’t play real well,” Fulton said. “They just out played us. They are faster than us. They spread the floor and move really well. They are taller than us so they just pass it over the top of us. It’s hard to play when you’re short. It’s not a short person’s game.”
With the goal of winning a district championship on their minds, the win against the Bulldogs helps put North Olmsted one step closer to achieving that goal.
“We split with Olmsted Falls because last time we lost to them,” Bansek said. “It was nice to come back the second time around and win, because you’re usually better the second half of the season.
“It’s nice too, because (Olmsted) Falls is in our district this year so that’s important for seeding purposes,” she added.
The Eagles were still able to keep their momentum despite being down junior guard Tara Kelley.
“We played without Tara Kelley and she’s our leading scorer,” Bansek said. “She has a knee injury and has been out the last two games and we’re hoping to have her back in the next week.
“I have to give a lot of credit to Erika Kiefer, a sophomore who came in and filled that role for Tara Kelley. She hit big shots today and defended well and we are very pleased with her progress,” she added.
Leading scorers for the Eagles included Megan Branchick with 10 points, Michelle Palange with 8 points, and Erika Kiefer with 7 points and leading scorers for Olmsted Falls included Allison Gerycz with 11 points and Jessica Koch with 8 points.
The Bulldogs are 7-6 and the Eagles are currently 7-5.