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Great defense and 11 3-pointers was the recipe for success as Minerva beat Alliance 71-23.
The Lady Lions led from start to finish, jumping out to a 15-4 first-quarter advantage and taking a 31-5 lead into halftime.
Minerva stretched its lead to 52-14 heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Alivia Bates had 17 points; Bri Gassman had 12 points and five rebounds; Kayla Kinsey had eight points, three rebounds and two assists; Elyssa Imler had eight points; Reiley Cowart had seven points and four assists; Nelle Yankovich had seven points, four assists and four steals; and Lauren Frigyes had six points, six rebounds and five steals.
"This was a total team win tonight," commented Head Coach Heather Frigyes. "We shot the ball well from the field and the free-throw line. I felt that we played with intensity and consistently quarter to quarter."
Minerva's swarming defense created 26 turnovers. The Lady Lions controlled the boards 27-21 and committed a season-low four turnovers.
Sandy Valley 29
Earlier in the week, the Lady Lions posted a non-league win over visiting Sandy Valley, 62-29.
Minerva jumped out to a 19-9 advantage and led 32-25 at intermission.
The Lady Lions dominated play in the second half, outscoring the Lady Cardinals 23-4 in the third stanza, and 7-0 over the final eight minutes of play.
Gassman had 21 points, 10 rebounds and three steals; Pearson had 11 points; Bates had 11 points, six rebounds and five steals; Kinsey had six points, three assists and five steals; and Frigyes had four points, seven boards and three steals.
"During the second half, we frequently switched our defense to only allow them to score four points the entire second half," stated Coach Frigyes. "Our rebounding and our ability to get to the free-throw line and convert were key tonight."
Minerva's comeback fell just short as it lost to visiting Marlington 60-56.
The Lady Dukes led by as many as 15 points in the third stanza, only to see the Lady Lions battle back to within four with 20 seconds to play.
Minerva had a chance to cut into the lead in the closing seconds, but were unable to connect on a 3-pointer. Marlington secured the rebound and the victory.
Marlington led 18-9 after the first stanza, 37-30 at halftime, and 55-42 heading into the final quarter.
Gassman had a big game with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Kinsey chipped in with 11 points, Pearson had 10 points and four rebounds, Frigyes had six points and five rebounds, and Bates had five points and seven assists.
"Their press gave us some difficulties for a couple possessions, but we settled down and adjusted, making it ineffective," noted Coach Frigyes. "We were down by as much as 15 in the second half and the girls fought hard to get it back within reach. During the final two-minute stretch, we forced a 5-second call, forced a couple of turnovers with our press and was able to get some good looks at the basket that we just couldn't convert.
"Statistically, we were evenly matched. The biggest difference was each teams ability to earn a trip to the free-throw line and converting."
Minerva (8-8, 5-6) will travel to St. Thomas today (Jan. 26); host Canton South on Saturday, Jan. 28; and travel to Louisville on Wednesday, Feb. 1.