South Range and Brookfield Girls High School Basketball: February 28, 2018
South Range and Brookfield Girls High School Basketball: February 28, 2018 x
STRUTHERS, OHIO (WKBN) – The top-seeded South Range Raiders advanced to Saturday’s Division 3 tournament at Struthers courtesy of a freshmen player. The Raiders Danielle Vuletich scored a game-high 31 points to power the Raiders past Brookfield 56-43 in a semi-final game Wednesday night.
“The last two days we said you better look at her before you pass it or reverse it,” Raiders coach Tony Matisi said of the importance of Vuletich. “We’re looking at her automatically. We made an effort to get it to her. It paid off.”
“I was just trying to play my best on both ends of the floor,” Vuletich said. “Our coaches were trying to get our players to go to the post because that’s where our strengths are. We have a height advantage.”
Vuletich dominated both in the paint with scoring, but also in rebounds propelling the Raiders to pull away in the second half of the contest. And it was important since her classmate and starting forward Izzy Lamparty wasn’t able to play.
“It’s been a rough year. It’s been a rough last three weeks, with flu, concussions. We’re hoping to have her back Saturday,” Matisi remarked about Lamparty out with a concussion. “She’s our leading scorer. She is a big part of what we do.”
“It was weird not having her out there and everything,” Vuletich remarked. “She is one of our key players. We had to her position and I think we did that really good.”
“I thought we stepped up. I don’t mind our foul situations, with being aggressive. But half of our fouls were stupid fouls,” Matisi added about the finishing the game with several players in foul trouble.
“I thought our scheme defensively was correct,” Warriors coach Marc Morgan remarked. “They were missing shots but we weren’t rewarding ourselves by keeping her off the glass. Those little breakdowns pulls the momentum away.”
The Warriors jumped out to an early 8-4 lead to start the contest, but the Raiders ending the first quarter with a 13-2 run to hold a 17-10 advantage at the end of the period. They maintained the lead throughout the second quarter and led 29-22 at the intermission.
When Sam Patrone hit on a bucket at the 2:52 mark of the third quarter, the Raiders had built a 13-point 37-24 advantage in the game. Vuletich would add a basket at the buzzer to provide the Raiders with a 46-28 lead at the end of the third stanza.
The Raiders slowed the game a bit in the final period, allowing the Warriors to gain a little momentum the lead down to 10-points with a little over two minutes remaining. But that was as close as the Warriors could get.
“With nine kids in the entire program, no JV team, and won the AAC, nobody expected us to come close to this,” Morgan said of the Warriors finishing 18-6 on the year. “For my seniors, I just wanted to get them that next step.”
Tori Sheehan led the Warriors with 18 points on the night, while Bailey Drapola added 17.
In addition to Vuletich’s 31, Maddie Durkin would provide the Raiders with 14 points.