Bay’s fourth quarter crashes to Laurel in district semifinal, Gators beat Rockets 42-32 – Morning Journal
14th-seeded Bay dominated the third quarter and looked set to upset ninth-seeded Laurel Gators in the Division II semi-final Elyria District.
With a 30-23 lead to start the fourth quarter, Laurel came back to avoid an upset, stunning the Rockets in a 42-32 victory on Feb. 23.
Laurel advances to the district semifinal to face 10th-seeded Copley after beating Rocky River 36-35 in overtime. The match was scheduled to take place at 7:00 p.m. but was moved to 2:00 p.m.
“I don’t know (what changed in the fourth quarter). I’m going to have to watch the tape,” Bay coach John Curran said. “We were changing a lot of defenses. We caught (Laurel) with one they were having trouble with. We were probably a little tired and then (Laurel’s Mari Bickley) decided to get back into the game. (Hellen Holley) played a lot better too.
Bickley was the third-team All-Ohioan last year in his junior season with the Gators and scored a team-high 19 points for his team. She was one of only three Laurel players (5-13) to score points along with Holley (13) and Margaret Jones (10).
“(Bickley) is one of the best guards in the state,” Curran said. “She can do whatever she wants (on the court). She can drive (to the basket). She can shoot (the ball). She can get fouled. She can find her teammates on the block. She’s just really good .
The scenario quickly changed after Bay (14-10) beat the Gators 14-2 in the third quarter and Laurel beat the Rockets 19-2 in the fourth.
The Gators had plenty of length inside with Holley, Bickley and Jenaya Carlisle-Brooks patrolling the paint, which posed a problem for Bay offensively.
“(Laurel) isn’t deep, but their girls are talented,” Curran said. “We missed a few lay-ups in the sequence, which could have really changed the course of the game. It happens when you play against a team like (Laurel). They are long; you play by contact. I felt like our game plan was really good. I felt like we didn’t execute the last part of this one.
Both teams played earlier in the season with the Gators leading with a 54-46 victory in mid-December. Coach Curran notes that both teams have improved since that last game.
“They got better and we got better,” he said. “The result was similar. We were with the beat until we started to foul them and even closer depending on when you (watch it).
Bay hooked up with the Gators in the first half. Curran credits his team’s shooting ability and defensive game plan.
“We took a few shots and changed defenses like crazy to try and slow them down,” he said. “It worked for three quarters. They had a few shots in the fourth quarter and we missed a few. Then the momentum changed. They had more confidence and we had a little less (at that time). »
Bay also took care of the basketball in the first half, committing just five turnovers against the mostly half-court defense presented by Laurel.
“They don’t rush and they don’t do some of the things that we don’t mind, which is why we thought we were going to be in this game,” Curran said.