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Spartan girls end losing streak with two big wins

Nik Zirounis

January 18, 2018
The Town Crier

The Boardman girls basketball team stopped a six-game losing streak with two huge wins recently.

Boardman blasted Ashtabula Lakeside and Youngstown East by a combined score of 138-29 on Jan. 3 and 6 respectively. Despite their struggles as of late, these Spartans have never quit and that's why they were able to win back-to-back games for the first time since the start of the season.

"No matter what, the girls have stayed positive and continue to play hard for us," said Boardman head coach Jeff Hammerton.

The victory over East was made possible thanks to Boardman's defense in the first quarter. The Spartans shut out the Lady Golden Bears 22-0 in the first frame and never looked back. Freshman Raegan Burkey played a complete game for Boardman scoring 16 points with seven steals and four assists. Fellow freshman Katie Stamp was perfect from the field and finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. Katelyn Sawyer was also in double digits with 10 points.

Boardman's defense was at it again a few nights prior versus Lakeside. A 29-0 first period propelled the Spartans to their 69-9 win over the Lady Dragons. In fact, Boardman's "D" may have been more impressive in this contest because it allowed just one point in the second quarter and two in the third as the Spartans built a 55-3 advantage. Burkey was back on top with 27 points. Cate Green captured nine points and had six steals. Stamp scored eight and led the team with nine rebounds. Alicia Saxton and Sawyer each scored seven points for the Spartans. Kennedy Furano came off Boardman's bench and scored 6 fourth period points.

However, the undefeated start to 2018 came to a halt on Jan. 10 against Struthers. This time it was the Spartans who were held to single digits in every quarter in a 42-31 setback. Boardman played inspired basketball in the first half trailing only 21-18 at intermission, but in the second half an old bug bit the Boardman kids.

"We struggled in the second half only netting 13 points," said Hammerton. "Our nemesis all year of consistently putting together baskets crept up again."

Burkey has been one of the most consistent Spartans all season and she led the team again versus Struthers with 13 points. She also had a team leading six steals. Stamp scored eight points versus Struthers, including four of five from the foul line.

Coach Hammerton also cited Annaliisa Cordova, Ashley Saxton and Emma Tokarsky for their combined defensive effort of the bench against the usually ultra-scoring Lady Cats.

"I was very happy with the defensive effort of the girls holding a high power offense like (Struthers) to only 42 points," the coach said.

Hammerton's club will need to keep the defensive pressure up in upcoming road games against rivals Fitch and Canfield. The Spartans faced the Lady Falcons on Jan. 17 and will clash with Canfield on Jan. 23. They lost to both of those schools earlier in the season An affair with Lakeview will be held between those two conference contests giving a headache to the head coach.

"We have a very tough stretch of games coming up," Hammerton said, "but we welcome the challenge and want to see progress from the first time we played (Fitch and Canfield)."



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