ELYRIA - For Keystone, the difference was night and day.
The Lady Wildcats bounced back from Friday`s lopsided loss to Admiral King to trip up Vermilion, 50-43, in Saturday`s consolation game at the ninth annual Lorain County Holiday Classic at Elyria High.
"The first game`s always tough," said junior captain Taylor Bell. "We have a lot of young girls. There was a lot of nervousness going around."
And that certainly included Bell, who didn`t score a point Friday and took only three shots from the floor.
"We played with more composure," said Keystone coach Scott Terry. "We definitely shot the ball with a lot more confidence and Taylor Bell really took charge. I was much, much happier. Our kids showed a lot of heart to bounce back from what happened to them (Friday)."
Bell showed why she is the captain. She led the way with a career-high 19 points that included a trio of 3-pointers and pulled in six rebounds. What doesn`t show in the box score was her pure out-and-out hustle. She had to have a half-dozen steals and was literally all over the floor - diving for loose balls.
"When you dive on the floor for a loose ball and something good happens out of it, that kind of spreads throughout the team," Terry said. "That`s what she displayed for us."
"I just tried to step it up for my teammates," Bell said. "We went in a positive direction. I`m glad my shots were falling."
"She put in a lot of minutes," Terry said of Bell. "She made things happen for us. Becky Nielsen (12 points) hit some big shots for us and I can`t say enough about Melanie Bastock (seven rebounds, five points), just a sophomore with very little varsity experience. She held her own."
Keystone jumped in front 34-19 with 5:06 left in the third quarter and survived a seven-minute scoring drought that saw its lead dwindle to just six points, 34-28, at the start of the fourth quarter. Casidy Gregory hit a layup, followed by a
3-pointer from Nielsen. Although Vermilion stayed within striking range the rest of the game, the lead never got below six points again.
"I thought it was a winnable game," said Vermilion coach Angie Caffarel. "We dug ourselves too big a hole in the first half."
Anne Hamilton led the Sailors with 19 points and nine rebounds. Katie Swinehart added nine points while Katie Karres pulled in nine boards.
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Keystone 50, Vermilion 43
KEYSTONE (50): Becky Nielsen 5-0-12, Taylor Bell 5-5-18, Taylor Kessinger 2-1-5, Casidy Gregory 3-2-8, Melanie Bastock 1-3-5, Briana Kuhl 0-0-0, Shana Mahilo 1-0-2, Kimberly Kososki 0-0-0, Karli Sturgill 0-0-0. Totals 17-11-50.
VERMILION (43): Katelyn Peterson 1-4-6, Katie Finley 1-0-3, Katie Karres 2-1-5, Katie Swinehart 3-1-9, Anne Hamilton 7-3-19, Julia Clark 0-1-1, Jordan Dawson 0-0-0, Krista Brown 0-0-0. Totals 14-10-43.
Keystone 9 16 9 16 - 50
Vermilion 6 10 10 17 - 43
Three-point goals: Keystone 5-11(Bell 3, Nielsen 2). Vermilion 5-12 (Swinehart 2, Hamilton 2, Finley). Field Goals: Keystone 17-49 (35 percent). Vermilion 14-44 (32 percent). Free Throws: Keystone 11-17 (65 percent). Vermilion 10-21 (48 percent). Rebounds: Keystone 29 (Bastock 7), Vermilion 46 (Karres, Hamilton 9). Turnovers: Keystone 17, Vermilion 26. Fouls: Keystone 19, Vermilion 16. Fouled Out: Finley.