Lady Fliers Grade Well in a hard fought 43-40 victory with rugged young Sandusky team.
Like the days of long ago, when drivers had to learn to drive a stick shift, the Lady Flier team driver has been trying to smooth out the the jerks and uneven steps forward. Of late, at least for the past two outings, our young team with seniors accepting their leadership roles has made noticeable leaps forward as an improving contingent.
Tonight, the Lake Division battle was just that. Two squads who saw victory in their grasp. It came down not to who played the hardest, but who could show more execution and poise. The Lady Fliers were again led in point production by Jackie Smith with great post play and 13 points. But in the critical fourth period, it was their talented and fast improving freshman point guard, Kristen Harrah, who fought through the intense pressure she faced to step up big at the foul line.
Sandusky, with no seniors on their roster, was led by its only junior, Marissa Esposito. She singlehandedly kept her team in the game with her remarkable scoring ability. Through three quarters, Marissa tallied 17 of her squad’s 28 points. The Fliers, meanwhile, had 28 points, too, with Senior posts Alexis Keegan and Jackie leading the way with 6 and 4 points respectively. Senior Madison Bannister continued to show glimpses of her younger playing days. A quiet leader in her own right, Madison knocked down two bombs from the corner, including a clutch one in the hectic fourth quarter.
A key,though, tonight was the Fliers’ attack at the bucket and drawing Blue Streak fouls. For the game, our ladies stepped to the line 29 times and hit a Season best 20. Sandusky, on the other hand, settled upon the outside shooting of Esposito. The Lady Streaks hit only 4-10 free throws. For the Blue and Gold, Jackie Smith hit every one of her seven charity throws. And during crunch time, when Coach Lozier’s ladies needed to claw back from a four point hole, Alexis hit a major toss to give the visitors a 43-40 lead. She hit 3-4 and that ‘freshman’, that COMPETITOR if there ver was one, Kristen hit five of eight.
What happened to Marissa Esposito? Well, Coach Lozier assigned girls like Haley Salazar and Sydney Hohman, both sophomores, along with a shut down defender, freshman Camdyn Taylor to hold her down. The Lady Fliers did not allow a single point from the game high scorer in the final eight minutes.
After nine games, the Flier stick shift vehicle is not jerking, stopping, and lunging nearly as much as a month ago. The Lady Fliers are growing more comfortable in their roles and freshmen and sophomores are taking teams away from concentrating on our seniors. Though their nerves are still a bit frazzled under full court pressure, the team is showing better floor vision and using the pass to attack.
Seeing any competitor grow and get better is one of the unsung delights for fans of athletics. The Lady Fliers have won four in a row thanks to listening, learning, accepting, and doing whatever it takes to win.