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Boardman girls end season with loss to Massillon Washington

March 1, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

In the end a big time team was too big for the Boardman girls basketball team.

The much larger sixth-seeded Massillon Washington girls team took it to the Lady Spartans on the boards in the first round of the Canton District of the Division I state basketball tournament on Feb. 17. Massillon out-rebounded Boardman 22-6 in the second quarter and 44-26 for the game as it knocked out the 11th seeded Spartans 60-45. Despite the extremely short run in the state playoffs and sub .500 season record, Boardman head coach Jeff Hammerton was very complimentary of his young ladies after the loss to the Lady Tigers.

"I told the girls how proud I was of them for always playing hard," said Hammerton in a text. "I thanked them for their great attitudes even during adversity."

During the first period, the Massillon ladies laid it on the local girls early taking an 8-0 lead. That lead expanded to 15-4 after one quarter. Boardman did bounce back to score 19 points in the second stanza, led by Raegan Burkey who scored nine of her 11 first half points in that period. Unfortunately, Burkey only scored five points in the second half and didn't get much help from her teammates either. Boardman shot a collective 1 for 10 from the floor in the fourth quarter as the Tigers took over the tilt.

One bright spot that Coach Hammerton did take away from this otherwise dissatisfying season is the amount of underclassmen that shined for the Spartans. Luckily for the coach, a lot of those girls will be expected to do even better next winter

"We return just about everybody," Hammerton said. "We started two to three freshmen each game with two juniors so we have a ton of experience coming back. We also believe the future will be bright as Maria Torres will make a full recovery from an ACL surgery. She will add to a roster with a lot of young talent"

Sadly, the Spartans did have to say goodbye to a pair of "older" players following the setback in Massillon. Although the Spartans are stacked with strong returnees, replacing veteran contributors is never easy.

"We will miss our two seniors Annaliisa Cordova and Katelyn Sawyer," Hammerton said.

Hopefully the experience coming back to Boardman, and the excitement the coach has, will be enough to push his squad toward the top of the All American Conference Red Tier.



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