Walsh Jesuit 68, Stow 53
The Warriors received excellent play from their guards to lead them to victory over the Bulldogs in an Akron Division I sectional final at Ellet High School on Saturday afternoon.
Junior Rachel Keough and senior Jessa Gilberto combined for 38 of the Warriors’ 68 points and 12 of their 33 rebounds.
“We have good outside shooters. We’re very aggressive on offense and they have confidence in their shots,” Walsh coach Pete Zaccari said. “When they get a good look, we give them the green light to throw it up. Today they were going in.”
Keough led all scorers with 24 points and had seven rebounds. Gilberto scored 14 points, grabbed five rebounds and had three steals.
“Rachel is usually the one that does all the little things, but today she came to score,” Zaccari said. “I give her a lot of credit, she was a big reason for our success today.
“That was her best game of the year.”
Sophomore forward Lilli Piper led the Warriors (17-7) inside, grabbing 13 rebounds and scoring 10 points.
At 5-foot-10, Piper does not tower over opponents, but has a knack for putting herself in excellent position for rebounds.
“She anticipates the ball off the rim well,” Zaccari said. “She does all the little things and gives the rest of our girls confidence because she’s a winner and refuses to lose.”
The Bulldogs (15-8), with only one senior starter, were paced by sophomores Chrissie Vaughan (16 points, four steals, three rebounds) and Sam Shaver (13 points, four rebounds).
Lone senior starter Abbie Lawson scored 12 points and had five rebounds, two steals and a block.
“Abbie played point guard for us this year, a position that is new to her,” Stow coach Bob Podges said. “She accepted that role and has played it well for us.”
Podges felt his young team lost track of its defensive focus in the game.
“The staple of our team this year has been defense,” he said, “and we didn’t put pressure on the ball like we normally do.”
Walsh Jesuit will face Hudson in a district semifinal on Thursday at Ellet.
Hudson 64, Nordonia 52
Youngstown State recruit Hannah Boesinger, a 5-foot-11 senior forward, led the Explorers (19-5) in a sectional final.
Boesinger led all players in both scoring (17) and rebounding (13).
“She brings a physical attitude to the game,” Hudson coach Dennis Lawler said. “She is a relentless pursuer of the basketball and has one of the strongest work ethics of any girl I’ve coached.”
Boesinger surpassed 1,000 career points with a 3-pointer in the third quarter, moving her into sixth all time at Hudson.
Hudson’s height was a deciding factor in the game as Boesinger and fellow post player, 6-2 junior center Kristen Mummey, combined for 24 rebounds. Nordonia had 31 rebounds as a team.
“We knew we had a height advantage and that we needed to capitalize on that when we could,” Lawler said. “They did a great job rebounding.”
Junior guard Jackie Ulmer set the tone for the Explorers, scoring nine of Hudson’s 16 first-quarter points.
Sisters Asya and Kayla Shine paced the Knights (7-16) with 11 points each.
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