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Spartan girls face another loss

February 1, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

There was a point last Saturday afternoon (Jan. 27) when it looked as if the Boardman girls basketball team had a great chance to pull a major upset on its home court.

The Lady Spartans trailed state-ranked Howland by just one point at halftime. Boardman stayed close throughout most of the third quarter too, but a 24-11 run propelled the Tigers as they went on to win 43-29. It marked the Spartans fourth straight loss and dropped the girls to 1-8 inside the All American Conference Red Tier.

"We had a lead in the second half before (Howland) made a run late in the game," said Boardman head coach Jeff Hammerton shortly after the setback.

Alicia Saxton and Raegan Burkey did all they could to stop the Spartans' slide in the second half. Saxton led Boardman scorers with eight points. Burkey had seven points.

Despite the loss to Howland, Hammerton's kids put on a much better showing than they did in previous losses to Canfield and Lakeview. Canfield clobbered the Spartans 75-27 on January 23 and the Spartans lost to Lakeview at home 55-39.

Those two losses were preceded by a 29-point loss to Fitch.

Conference unbeaten Canfield actually scored more points in the second quarter (25) than Boardman scored the entire first half (24). A scoreless third period put the already difficult contest completely out of reach. Boardman's ladies missed each of their shots in that fateful third quarter to add to their doom. Burkey scored eight points to lead Boardman. Cate Green was right behind her with seven points. Saxton had 4 points and four steals.

The first half of the game against Lakeview was nip and tuck and ended in a 21-21 tie. Once again it was the third quarter that befuddled Boardman. An 12-0 run by the Lady Bulldogs at the end of that period was followed by a 16-8 fourth period run that enabled the visitors to cruise to victory. The Spartans did get a little bit of offensive diversity in this game as they put nine different players in the scoring column. Senior Katelyn Sawyer led the Spartans with nine points and three steals. Freshman Katie Stamp had eight points and eight rebounds. Annaliisa Cordova, Cailyn Covan and Emma Tokarsky each had four points. Although there was some sign of shooting life by the Boardman group against the Bulldogs, their overall offensive output has been shaky all season.

"Our offensive struggles continue," said Hammerton.

One thing the coach can't complain about is the way his youngsters have remained upbeat and have continued to put in hard work in practice.

"Our effort is there and all of the girls have stayed positive during this tough stretch," Hammerton said. "If we can carry the same effort over the next few weeks I believe we will win some of these (games) down the stretch."

The Spartans' stretch run began with a huge test at 14-2 South Range this past Monday night. A trip to Edgewood will be played before Boardman has a rematch with Warren Harding on Feb. 7. The Lady Raiders ripped the Spartans 71-42 back on Dec. 7 so a shot at redemption will be on the Spartans' minds when the two schools meet for the second time.



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