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Poland girls continue magnificent ride inside Northeast 8 Conference

January 29, 2020
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

There are just a few games left in the Northeast 8 Conference, but Poland's girls basketball team is in complete control.

The Lady Bulldogs beat up Girard 62-31 on January 23 at home to run their record to 10-0 in the NE8. Their amazing winning streak inside the league has now extended to 24 in a row dating back to last season as the Bulldogs look like a lock to defend their league championship.

In the win over the Lady Indians, Poland pulverized their visitors in both the first and third periods. Girard was held to single digits in both frames as Poland's defense destroyed its shooters. The home team led 18-6 after the first quarter. Even though Girard did reach double digits in the second stanza, the Bulldogs still outscored them 16-11 to roll into halftime ahead by seventeen points. Their 21-4 third quarter run turned this game into a laugher for the Bulldogs. Leading the way, as she has this entire season, was sharpshooter Jackie Grisdale. The junior star stunned the Indians with seven 3-pointers en route to a 25-point game. In an amazing shooting display, Grisdale's first six successful field goals were all from beyond the arc. Four of those came in the opening quarter as the Bulldogs went ahead by a dozen points. Sophomore forward Morgan Kluchar came away with nine points. Senior captain Kailyn Brown was next up with eight points. Fellow senior Katie Masucci scored six.

The Bulldogs took a break from beating up NE8 foes when they visited Cardinal Mooney on Jan. 18. They treated the Lady Cardinals as rudely as they do their conference sisters. An enormous 35-12 halftime score ended all doubt as the Bulldogs cruised to a 59-42 victory. It seems as if nothing can slow down the 14-2 Poland girls at this point, not even a fire alarm. On two occasions during the first half at Mooney action was halted when the alarm sounded. Thankfully, those were false alarms, but they could have signaled just how on fire these Bulldogs have been. Grisdale garnered 19 points in this win for Poland.

The next four contests should continue the Bulldogs' winning ways inside the conference. Lakeview, Jefferson, Hubbard and Niles have as many league wins combined as Poland does by itself. Still, the Bulldogs will have to play hard and try to avoid complacency against a group of schools that will all be looking for revenge for earlier losses. In fact, Poland already polished off that quartet by a combined score of 248-123. Showdowns with non-conference rivals Howland and Canfield will close out the regular season campaign for the Poland ladies. The game in Canfield will be a rematch from a game on December 28 in which the Lady Cardinals captured a 4-point victory. So that means the last game on this season's slate will see the Bulldogs in the strange role of the team seeking retribution. From there things get really serous as the state tournament commences. At this point, it seems silly to think that Poland won't be one of the top seeds in its region.



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