by Jonathan Snyder
The Cedarville Lady Jackets continue to turn their season around with an 83-77 win over the Lake Erie Storm.
The Lady Jackets displayed fluid ball movement in the 1st quarter, getting out to a 26-13 lead thanks to a 12-3 run to round it out. The Lady Jackets’ stingy defense only allowed 4 points in the paint.
The Lady Jackets would keep Lake Erie at arm’s length for the rest of the first half, but the Storm’s three-point shooting would close the gap a bit in the 2nd quarter, which was a surprise considering the Storm averaged around 31% from beyond the arc before this contest.
The start of the second half signaled trouble for the Lady Jackets, however, as the Storm started off with an 8-0 run, thanks to the Storm’s leading scorer Abby Matalavage, who finished the game with 20 points.
The Storm would take a one-point lead near the end of the third quarter, but the Lady Jackets would rally back in the fourth, sharing the ball and knocking down critical shots down the stretch to come away with the six-point win.
Head Coach of the Lady Jackets Jason Smith was proud of the resiliency of his team after the game, “They play well from behind, they’ve been in that position a lot and it doesn’t really frazzle them… there’s a gutsiness about our team, and a little grittiness when we get behind.”
Paige Garr, a senior guard for the Lady Jackets, delivered an encore performance with 25 points on the night to complement the 27 she scored in their first outing against the Storm, “We just really wanted to stop their drives, that’s what they’re really good at. The biggest thing is we were focusing on us, we really wanted to pass the ball more… we shared the ball really well today.”
After a rough start to the year that saw the Jackets lose six straight in December, the Jackets are witnessing a reversal of fortune from early season shortcomings, only losing to #1 ranked Ashland and Walsh in the month of January.
With this win, alongside losses by both Northwood and Hillsdale, the Lady Jackets now move to 8th in the GMAC standings. They are a game and a half back from the Walsh Cavaliers, who currently hold the final spot in the GMAC tournament.
The Lady Jackets have opportunities to advance in the playoff seeding with upcoming games at 7th place Hillsdale on January 26th and at home against 4th place Malone on the 28th.