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Magnificat cagers top Lakewood for coach’s 100th victory

By Ryan Kaczmarski

The Magnificat basketball team rolled into Lakewood High School last Wednesday night and beat the Rangers 71-53.

The victory was Magnificat (11-3) head coach Meghann Hubach’s 100th of her career, and she didn’t hide her elation as she was presented with the game ball.

“It’s awesome,” Hubach said. “The kids were excited. This senior group has been a large part of those 100 wins.

“Tonight is extremely special, and the whole coaching experience is fun,” she added.

“It’s awesome to get that (100th win) for her and to be a part of this,” Blue Streaks senior Stephanie Haas said.

Lakewood (6-9) did not go down without a fight, though. The Rangers scored 15 points in the first quarter – only down by five at the first intermission – and 14 in the second.

“Give Lakewood credit,” Hubach said. “I thought they shot the ball well. They came in and played hard like we knew that they would.”

Magnificat struggled defensively in the early going, taking a 39-29 lead into the half. The Blue Streaks came out in the third quarter and held Lakewood to only six points.

“We needed to do better job defensively,” Hubach said. “So at halftime, I challenged them, from a defensive standpoint, to do a better job in their man-to-man defense. Twenty-nine points are a lot of points for us to give up in a half.”

Magnificat stretched its lead to 52-35 at the end of the third quarter, and maintained it to the end.

Haas led all scoring in the game with 24 points on eight field-goals, one 3-pointer and she went five for five at the charity stripe.

“She averages almost 20 points a game, so she definitely can get things done offensively,” Hubach said. “A lot of times, teams tend to focus on her which allows open looks for the rest of her teammates.

“Steph always finds a way to get some points, whether it be from the 3-point line, getting herself to the basket or as of late she’s been making her free throws, and that’s great too.”

“We’re just excecuting our plays,” Haas said of her offensive numbers. “My teammates do a really good job of getting me the ball. When my shots aren’t falling, I know that I can get to the rim, attack and get to the free throw line.”

Also scoring in double-digits for the Blue Streaks were senior post player Maddie Barry with 14 points and senior point guard Meghan Barilla with 12 points.

“I thought Barilla finished okay at the hoop tonight,” Hubach said. “She gets herself to the rim pretty easily.

“Maddy Berry always works hard underneath (the Basket),” she added.

Leading Lakewood in scoring was senior forward Jessica Garcia with 19 points, including four from downtown, followed by sophomore guard Maggie Rowell with 13 points on the night.

“We know we play hard,” said Lakewood head coach Michael Gallagher. “We play hard every second (of the game). We just need to continue to work on our fundamentals and get them down.

“Jessica Garcia is our team leader (offensively),” he added. “She is ave raging 18-19 points a ballgame. The last couple of games, Maggie Rowell has come around to score in double-figures.”

Magnificat will play at home tonight against Shaker Heights, while Lakewood plays its next game on Saturday at home against Medina.

 

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