HANOVERTON, Ohio (WKBN) – The Lisbon Blue Devils girls basketball team is starting a new era. Gone are standout players Karlee Pezzano and McKenzie Mason. But they still showed that they are a solid program as they downed EAOC rival United Monday night 48-34.
With the win, the Blue Devils improve to 2-1 on the season, 1-0 in the league. The Eagles sport an opposite mark of 1-2, 0-1 in the conference.
“It means a bunch,” sophomore center Maddie Liberati said of the victory. League game, first one, I think us doing this kind of showed that we need to go a little harder in practices, but it was a league game. A big one.”
Liberati would take home game scoring honors as she knocked down 18 points in the contest, while also hauling down 6 rebounds. 16 of her 18 points came from inside the paint.
But Liberati admitted that they are adjusting to life after Pezzano and Mason, “We have to have a lot more bench players getting in because she (Pezzano) was quick and scored a lot of our points. So did McKenzie.”
“We just talked about it in the locker room, and Izzy (Perez) brought it up about Karlee not being here and McKenzie not being here, and the other two seniors we had. They knew how to play basketball. We’re still learning,” Blue Devils coach Jamie Entrikin remarked.
“So it’s going to be a process, and even they know it,” Entrikin added. “We’re going to have to be patient. We’re going to have good and we’re going to have not so good games. But we will get there. We have a talented group. How soon? I just don’t know.”
The Devils never trailed in the game as they raced out to an 11-2 advantage from the opening tip-off. But the Eagles seemed to settle down after that early push as they clawed their way back to a just a 4-point deficit at the end of the first quarter at 13-9.
The Eagles would close the gap to just 3, thirty seconds into the second stanza when Hannah Mix connected on the front end of a one and one, but from there the Devils would start to pull away. They would go up by 11 with 3:15 remaining in the half when Autumn Oehlstrom connected on a jumper, giving the Devils a 21-10 lead. But once again the Eagles fought back as they went on an 8-5 run to close it to 26-18 at the intermission.
The Devils then ramped up the intensity in the second half, outscoring the Eagles 14-6 in the third frame, holding a 16-point advantage at 40-24. The Eagles were not able to cut into that margin until the final moments of the contest.
“United is an arch-rival and coach Kellison is a very defensive minded coach and we knew coming over here they were going to give us everything they had,” Entrikin said. “They did, they made us battle the whole game. It wasn’t like we blew them out. They made it tough on us and that is why this game was good for us. Now we can sit back and look at all the things we didn’t do well and try to correct those tomorrow in practice.”
“They are well coached. They (Lisbon) shot the ball really well early and that got us a little off guard,” Eagles coach Terry Kellison remarked. “We tried to play some zone defense and they got a lead on us and we fought all night trying to get back.”
Kellison admitted that turnovers and uncontested errors cost his team in the game, “We have, and that is something we have been battling. We ran into that in the Salem game and the good teams that pressure us are going to cause some of those problems. We’re going to work to get better. I still have confidence in my guards, their young, but we will get better as the year goes on.”
In addition to Liberati scoring 18, Hailee Carpenter added 11 points in the game for the Devils. Izzy Perez not only generated the Devils offense from her point guard position but she also hauled down a team-leading 7 rebounds.
Celeste Hofmeister came off the bench to lead the Eagles in the scoring column with 12 points on the night. Cameron Pierson grabbed 7 rebounds to pace the Eagles on the boards.
The Eagles did capture the j-v games as they won 36-18 with sophomore Celeste Powers taking home a game-high 14 points in the contest.
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Lisbon knocks off rival United in first league contest
Lisbon knocks off rival United in first league contest x