Going into Saturday’s Div. III Southwest District tournament game versus Greeneview, East Clinton Lady Astros head coach Steven Gerber realized his squad would need to give maximum effort in all phases of the game, if they were to pull off the upset victory against the No. 3 seed Lady Rams.
Although the Lady Astros kept things close for a while, the Lady Rams pulled away with a big third quarter, winning 58-36, at Fred Summers Court.
The Lady Astros end the season at 6-17, while Greeneview (18-5) advances in the tourney. Next up for the Lady Rams will be Williamsburg, an 85-46 winner over Cincinnati Aiken. Greeneview will play the Wildcats at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fred Summers Court.
“We felt like we really gave them a challenge. Our kids were ready to play and at halftime, we told them we still had a chance, only down by four points,” said Gerber. “Unfortunately, we had that cold spell in the third quarter and the lack of any offense really hurt us. Still, I’m proud of the kids for a great effort.”
Junior Sabrina Saunders keyed the Lady Rams third period surge, with seven points, including a pair of old-fashioned three-point plays in the paint. In the second half, Greeneview capitalized from the free throw line, converting 12 of 15 free throws, including six for six in the fourth period, when they outscored East Clinton 16-9.
Leading the way for the Lady Rams were Kristen Combs and Faith Strickle with 14 points each. Combs had 11 of her points in the second half while Strickle was deadly beyond the three-point arc, with four three-pointers in the contest, including three during the second half.
For the Lady Astros, Kaitlyn Durbin had 15 points, eight in the first quarter and seven in the fourth period. Lacy Peterman had eight points and Paige Lilly added six points.
Although the final ledger showed just six total wins, Gerber believes his team showed improvement and Saturday’s contest had its share of brighter moments for the program in the future.
“This team really started to put it together in the final stages of the season. We ended on a good note, with a spurt of three wins in our last five games. We had our share of injuries and illnesses and adversity like any other team but we battled through it,” said Gerber. “Our focus late in the year was to improve and keep getting better and I felt we achieved that. My assistant coaches really strengthened our program and I’m looking forward to next season already.”
Playing in their final game Saturday for the Lady Astros were seniors Allison Tong, Sam Gaddis, Marissa Williams and Ciarra Cooper.
Feb 13, 2016
@Fred Summers Court
Greeneview 58 East Clinton 36
(58) GREENVIEW (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Combs 4-0-6-14, Fife 4-0-0-8, Saunders 3-0-3-9, Maxwell 2-0-2-6, Rinehart 1-1-2-5, Harding 0-0-2-2, Strickle 5-4-0-14. TOTALS 19-5-15-58.
(36) EAST CLINTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Lilly 3-0-0-6, Gaddis 0-0-1-1, Cooper 1-0-2-4, Durbin 5-1-4-15, Davis 0-0-1-1, Christian 0-0-1-1, Peterman 4-0-0-8. TOTALS 13-1-9-36.
Bill covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @learjet.