GRAFTON - It`s probably not the best idea to make a bunch of turnovers against a team like Rocky River. It`d be a better idea to make a bigger bunch of baskets.
Rocky River`s girls are undefeated, and undefeated teams like it when the opponent makes a lot of turnovers and misses lots of shots.
Unfortunately for the Middies, they did both Wednesday night and they were handed their first West Shore Conference loss, 58-30, of the season.
The Middies (3-2, 2-1 WSC) committed 30 turnovers - nearly triple the number of field goals they made - and missed 30 of 41 field-goal attempts.
"We knew tonight coming in that we had to take care of the ball," said Middies coach Kim Kauffman. "When you don`t against a team like Rocky River, there`s no way you can beat them. They`re too sound fundamentally and they go after the ball too well. At the same time, this gives our girls something to shoot for. They know what they need to do and this is a learning experience."
The Pirates (6-0, 3-0) looked like the WSC champions they were last season. All 12 players on the River roster played and 10 of them scored - three in double figures - with a balanced offense that underscored the team`s depth.
"I thought our athleticism sort of took over there in the first half, and our depth as well," said Pirates coach Michael Murray. "We got out and ran and got some transition baskets, started scoring some layups and got some steals. That kind of got us going. I was proud of our kids."
The Pirates were dominant from the beginning. They took an 8-0 lead and led 12-6 after a quarter. They put together a 13-2 run in the second quarter and had basically put the game away at the break, 36-14. The teams played even in the third quarter, but River again dominated the fourth, playing everyone on the roster.
River held Hannah Duran, the Middies` leading scorer, without a point in the first half. But the multi-talented Duran rallied for nine points in the second half and led the team in scoring. Senior Megan Snow added eight.
Rocky River`s Molly McNally scored a game-high 12 points. The Pirates got 10 each from Hannah Pempus and Kristen Strang, and nine more from Maureen Kessler. Strang, the Pirates` 5-foot-11 post, was strong at both ends.
"We have a number of kids inside who play really well," Murray said. "Strang did a great job today. Our guards did a good job of finding her, but she went and got some extra points on the offensive boards."
Will the Middies recover?
"They`re already prepared to bounce back," said Kauffman. "We`ve come too far in this short season to let a game like this get to us. We have lots of goals we want to accomplish and they know that if you learn from one mistake, you have new opportunities ahead. They`ll be fine."
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rocky River 58, Midview 30
ROCKY RIVER (58): Justine Beres 2-1-5, Hannah Pempus 5-0-10, Marybeth Leitch 0-1-1, Maura Hagan 1-0-2, Kristen Strang 4-2-10, Leann DiPaola 3-0-6, Kier Christian 1-0-2, Molly McNally 6-0-12, Maeve Kessler 0-0-0, Brooke Towner 0-1-1, Maureen Kessler 4-1-9, Christen Van Atta 0-0-0. Totals: 26-6-58.
MIDVIEW (30): Gina Laufman 0-0-0, Lauren Gauvreau 0-0-0, Megan Snow 3-2-8, Jacki Street 2-2-6, Janie Rauscher 1-0-2, Hannah Duran 3-2-9, Danielle Szpak 1-0-2, Annie Harder 0-1-1, Kelsey Voit 1-0-2, Kaylee Cromling 0-0-0. Totals: 11-7-30.
Rocky RiverÂ Â Â 12 24Â 7 15 - 58
MidviewÂ Â Â Â 6Â 8Â 7Â 9 - 30
3-point goals: Rocky River 0-7; Midview 1-2 (Duran). Field goals: Rocky River 26-48 (54.2 percent); Midview 11-41 (26.8 percent). Free throws: Rocky River 6-13; Midview 7-9. Rebounds: Rocky River 27; Midview 33. Turnovers: Rocky River 16; Midview 30.
Junior varsity: Rocky River, 43-20.