SPORTS Visiting Jets Fly Over Shamrocks On Coaches vs. Cancer...

Visiting Jets Fly Over Shamrocks On Coaches vs. Cancer Night | News, Sports, Jobs

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photo by: Kim North

Union Local’s Lauren Miller (15) and Barnesville’s Abigail Johnson (4) reach for a loose ball during Monday night’s Coaches vs. Cancer game inside the Greenhouse at Barnesville High School. The visiting Jets flew away with a 61-37 triumph.

BARNESVILLE – Coming off a season in which it advanced to the Ohio Division III regional finals, but lost a pair of 1,000-point scorers to graduation, veteran head coach Scooter Tolzda knew it was going to take some time before his Union Local girls’ basketball team to adapt.

After a season-opening setback at always tough Fort Frye last Wednesday, Tolzda’s Jets (1-1) touched down inside a jam-packed Greenhouse at Barnesville High School and flew away with a 61-37 triumph on Coaches vs. Cancer night.

“Their zone defense, which most of these girls have never seen, really kind of spread us out in the first half,” Tolzda said. “We looked like an inexperienced team. We have trouble passing the ball sometimes. I thought we settled down a lot in the second half.”

Despite turning the ball over seven times in the first quarter and five in the second, Union Local led 9-8 after eight minutes before extending that margin to 23-14 at the half over mistake-prone Barnesville.

“I hope this win gives the girls a shot of confidence … a spark,” Tolzda added. “Barnesville has almost all their girls back, and, for what we lost, I’m proud of my young team. We started three sophomores and a junior, and we’ve got some girls coming off the bench. If you look at it that way, hopefully, this win is something we can build off of.

“We will get better at not making so many mistakes because we have a determined bunch on this team,” he continued. “You can see our inexperience at times in certain things. Everyone is playing at a different position than they did last year, if they played. The effort is there.”

The two western Belmont County rivals combined for a whopping 42 turnovers, with the debuting Shamrocks recording 26, with 10 of those coming in the second quarter when the Jets pulled away..

“A lot of turnovers,” Barnesville head coach Ty Leach said while shaking his head. “I figured we would be able to handle their pressure, but we just couldn’t get into our offensive sets, and when we did, we couldn’t execute.

“Our free throw shooting kept us in the game for a while,” Leach said of his team’s fine 13-for-15 performance. “We shot well from the line but there are a lot of other things we need to work on before our next game.”

Sophomore Laken Vinskovich recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. She netted 10 of her markers in the third quarter when the Jets outscored the Shamrocks, 19-8, for a commanding 42-22 advantage.

Vinskovich was joined in twin digits by senior Lauren Miller who added 14 points, which included a pair of treys. Junior Teegan Day chipped in nine tallies.

Barnesville was led by Madelyn Tyson and Abigail Johnson with 11 points each. Ellie Thompson added eight.

“I really commend those (UL) girls for the way they handled themselves after losing two really, really good players,” Leach said of the Jets.

“They played really well tonight.”

Both teams hit the road for their next contests. Barnesville heads west on I-70 to Buckeye Trail, while Union Local heads to Cameron on Thursday.



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