COVENTRY TWP.: Last year’s Coventry girls basketball game at Woodridge is a now distant memory for fourth-year Comets coach Bob McNamara.
Tuesday night, the host Comets defeated the Bulldogs 44-33. Last season,Woodridge beat Coventry 71-33.
Seniors Emily Cerepak and Kristi Morisak led the Comets (2-0) with 15 points and 11 points respectively.
“We just wanted to push hard and we knew that they beat us by so much last year,” Cerepak said. “We just thought we could get them. We had this one word, it was ‘heart,’ and we had that in our minds the whole game.”
Coventry led 10-9 after one quarter and built a 27-18 halftime advantage. The Comets kept the pressure on the Bulldogs (0-1) in the second half and extended the lead to 30-18, but Woodridge trimmed its deficit to 35-31 after three quarters.
Cerepak scored six points in the fourth quarter to help the Comets exact some revenge after last year’s tough loss.
“We knew we were going to have a challenge,” Kristi Morisak said. “We knew they lost one of their good girls [She’Kiera Brooks] and we lost one of our girls [Lexi Moore] as well. We knew it would be even. Over the summer, everything was pushing forward.”
Woodridge struggled offensively and looked disjointed during many of its possessions. Coventry’s defense was a big reason why, forcing 29 turnovers. The Comets had 23.
“I give credit to Coventry,” Woodridge coach Chris Esterak said. “They came out strong. I scouted on them Saturday [in a 55-50 win over Southeast] and I felt that they played well. We had two of our starters out most of the preseason and to be honest we had them back for three days of practice, so I knew coming into today that it was going to be a little rough chemistry-wise, and it showed. But no excuses, we had to take care of the ball and we turned it over too much. We just didn’t keep our cool.”
Morisak had six steals and Cerepak had five steals.
Senior Lizzie Wilkinson paced Woodridge with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Comets were just too pesky on the defensive end and also rebounded the ball well.
Senior Talia Magestro had six points and 10 rebounds for the Comets and senior Alyssa Angeletti contributed three points and seven rebounds. Freshman Karli Morisak chipped in three points and four steals.
“I like playing with all of them because I have grown up with them and I have been playing with them for the past few summers,” Karli Morisak said. “Knowing that I helped out in the victory means a lot to me.”
The victory also meant a lot to McNamara, who was happy to see his girls play as a team.
“Kristi Morisak is our leader,” McNamara said. “There is no doubt about it. She played for me as a freshman and she works every day in practice as hard as you saw her on the floor tonight. That is the way she plays. She is a 4.3 student doing mostly, if not all, post secondary at the University of Akron. She is not only a smart person, but a smart basketball player. She and I can communicate on the court from the bench without even talking to each other. She knows what I want to do.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at https://ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.