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The Suburbanite
  • Tigers fall short of another win

  • Coming into the final two games of the regular season, the Lake Center Christian Tigers were looking to make a statement.

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  • Coming into the final two games of the regular season, the Lake Center Christian Tigers were looking to make a statement.
    The one they issued against the Lutheran East Falcons
    wasn’t what LCCS had in mind. Despite having plenty of opportunities on the road against a team from their district tournament bracket, the Tigers (2-19) fell 37-28 in a game they could have won.
    “We knew this would be a tough stretch. We’re playing a lot of the better schools coming down the stretch. Bigger schools, like Barberton, which is a Division I team, and Lutheran East, they’re up in our district and they’re a higher seed,” LCCS coach Paul Zacour said. “I told them, this is a motivator, you’ve got a chance to make a statement for the tournament about who you are as a team.”
    Neither team generated much offense in the early going, as both sides struggled from the field and also to hold onto the ball. LCCS shot just 23.2 percent (10 of 43) and had 30 turnovers. The Falcons weren’t much more efficient, shooting 13 of 58 (22.4 percent) and committing 22 turnovers of their own. With subpar free-throw shooting on both sides - 7 of 20 for LCCS and 8 of 16 for Lutheran East - it wasn’t difficult to see why coaches on both benches had forlorn expressions on their faces for much of the evening.
    LCCS forged ahead after an uneven first quarter, leading 11-5 thanks to the efforts of freshman guard Brianna Miller and senior guard Olivia Myers. The Falcons bounced back in the second frame, ramping up their defensive pressure and cashing in when foul trouble forced Zacour to go deeper into his bench than he wanted, leading to a quarter in which LCCS managed only three points.
    They saw their lead dissipate and vanish as the Lutheran East freshman tandem of DarJaney Edwards and Jazmyne Darby started to find their way offensively. Edwards, who led all scorers with 22 points, began getting to the basket more in the second quarter and by the time the halftime buzzer sounded, the hosts were in front 17-14.
    Even after the lull late in the first half, LCCS was unable to mount any serious threat in the second half as fouls continued to plague them. Despite battling the Falcons to a 30-30 draw on the boards, the Tigers could not contain Edwards (15 rebounds) or Darby, who started at shooting guard but handled the ball more as the game wore on and recorded 10 points in the game.
    LCCS did not have a player reach double figures in the contest, as Myers took top scoring honors with six and Miller added five, with junior forward Emily Hofer and sophomore forward Lauren Penvose chipping in with four each. Penvose, who entered the game averaging more than 13 rebounds a game and more than three steals per contest, was below her season average but led LCCS with nine caroms.
    Page 2 of 2 - In the aftermath of a disappointing loss, Zacour expressed displeasure with how his team responded in the face of the game’s challenges, especially with just one game left on the schedule before the tournament.
    “It was the complete opposite of what we wanted. We did not handle foul trouble well, we did not handle adversity well and we let things snowball,” Zacour said.
    For their sectional tournament draw, the Tigers landed North Ridgeville Lake Ridge Academy in a game to be played at Norwayne High School.