November 30, 2009
Victory eludes Trojans
Rich Barnes/contributing photographer
Homer Central’s Sarah diGiovanna has path to the basket blocked by Indian River’s Emily Kuba, as Tykese Williams (22) gives chase. Though diGiovanna scored 8 points the Trojans lost 47-43.
A team leader knows when to step up her play and Indian River certainly has a leader.
Jessica Dailey scored the opening basket and the insurance bucket in a crucial 11-0 run in the final 4:11 of Saturday’s basketball season opener as the visiting Warriors rallied from a 43-36 deficit to post a 47-43 victory over Homer Central girls.
The turnaround spoiled the Trojans’ strong overall effort as Dailey led all scorers with 16 points.
“Jessica is our team leader,” Indian River coach Jim Whitley said. “We lost four starters from last year’s team and it looked like our first game. Jessica played a solid game and Taylor Kelsey his some clutch shots. We certainly put more effort into our play in the second half.
“Homer played well,” he continued. “They look improved and they shot the ball well.”
Homer looked great in the first half. After building a 12-10 lead in the first quarter, the Trojans used their own 9-0 run in the second quarter to build a 21-10 cushion.
Sarah diGiovanna converted back-to-back shots in the paint after nice passes from Carissa Cornwell to begin the run. Ashley Crossway followed with a 3-pointer off a Gabby Luety pass and Chelsea Jones capped the run with a nice shot assisted by Jessica Parmiter. The Trojans were running the floor, moving the ball with crisp passes and looking strong defensively.
Emily Kuba (14 points) ended the Trojan run with back-to-back baskets to close the gap to 21-14 with 3:14 left in the half.
Crossway was fouled, made the initial basket and a free throw for a 10-point Homer lead. The advantage grew to 28-16 with 1:01 left in the half as Luety and Cornwell each scored deuces.
Kuba closed out the half making one-of-two free throws with 24 seconds on the clock. She added a basket with seven seconds to go as Homer clung to a 28-19 advantage.
The Warriors came out strong in the third quarter, but it was the Trojans with the first points, Luety scoring on an offensive put-back. Kaitlyn Rajner buried a trey for her only points of the game to spark a 6-0 run. Dailey capped the run with an offensive rebound with 5:35 left in the quarter and the Trojans led 30-25.
HOMER SCORED four of the next six points for a 34-27 advantage, but Indian River tied the game 34-34 with 3:03 on the third-quarter clock. Kelsey (11 points) capped the 7-0 run with a 3-pointer.
Luety put the Trojans back in front with another offensive put-back and Crossway followed by making two-of-three charity tosses to enjoy a 38-36 through three quarters.
Parmiter netted a deuce and Cornwell followed with a trey in opening minute of the fourth quarter for a 43-36, but it was all Indian River from that point on. The Trojans got nervous and made mistakes. The Warriors got on a roll. After Dailey, Tykesa Williams scored and Dailey followed to close the gap to 43-42.
With 1:52 remaining, Kelsey took a pass from Dailey and buried the shot as Indian River led for the only time, other than a 3-2 edge in the opening 30 seconds. With a 44-43 advantage, Williams made one-of-two free throws with 1:11 to go. Dailey closed out the scoring 14 seconds later and the Warriors kept possession of the ball, most of the final minute to claim victory.
“I told the girls to run the clock down with the timeouts I was using in the final four minutes,” Homer coach Marv Zimmerman said after the tough loss. :Things just got helter-skelter. I just need more experience in these types of games and I hope we have a lot more games like this.
“I really feel like we are turning things around,” he continued. “The girls really played hard. I think we got a bit tired at the end. Sarah diGiovanna showed how much she has improved before fouling out. All the girls showed a lot of improvement.”
Zimmerman also praised the opposition.
“Indian River did play a much better second half,” Zimmerman stated.
Crossway finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for the Trojans. DiGiovanna added eight points and nine points with Luety netting six points and a team-high 15 rebounds. Parmiter also tallied six points and pulled down 11 rebounds with Cornwell grabbing nine rebounds.
In a note from the pre-season story, junior Kaatje Pullman was accidentally omitted.
Homer opens OHSL Freedom Division play Friday at Mexico. JV action will tip-off at 5:30 p.m.
HOMER JVs suffered a similar fate as its varsity counterpart. The Trojans saw its 23-17 halftime advantage slip away with a 13-2 Indian River third-quarter spurt as the Warriors rallied for a 39-35 triumph.
“We played well for our first game,” Homer coach Cris Colasurdo said. “We had trouble offensively handling pressure that Indian River applied.”
Colasurdo praised the play of Katelyn Gray, Cheyenne Gaffney and Meagan Hartquist. Gray led the Trojans with 10 points and three steals. Gaffney netted nine points and pulled down five rebounds while Hartquist tallied six points. Carly Dove grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for the home team.
Katie Brierton paced Indian River with 10 points.
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