WESTFIELD TWP. — The use of the word “brutal” by Cloverleaf power forward Lisa Wangler was a little strong, but the point was valid.
The Field girls basketball team wasn’t intimidated in the slightest by the Colts’ undefeated record. The Falcons had a good game plan against Cloverleaf’s 2-2-1 zone, contested every inside shot and weren’t afraid to extend hips, elbows and anything else for rebounds.
When the dust settled Wednesday in the physical Portage Trail Conference Metro Division game, the Colts’ athleticism simply wore down Field in a relatively never-in-doubt 58-32 decision.
Cloverleaf (11-0, 6-0) won for the 17th time in its last 18 home games. It also lowered its defensive scoring average to 41.1, which is on pace to break the school record of 42.0 set in 2003-04.
“It was pretty brutal,” Wangler said nonchalantly. “Almost every time I went up for a shot I got fouled, but the refs weren’t really calling any either way, so …
“A lot of us are pretty strong, so we can handle the grittiness of the games.”
Medina County leading scorer Helaina Limas went without a field goal over the first 8:47 and was contested successfully on driving layups multiple times by tough-minded Falcons guard Maria Sziva. Limas, however, never stopped attacking, scored 12 of her game-high 23 points in a backbreaking 21-2 run and surpassed 800 career points.
The X-factors were Wangler and point guard Cameron Tripp. Wangler posted her third double-double of the season with 11 points and 16 rebounds — the senior has 46 boards over the last three games — while Tripp put up a great all-around line of 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and six steals. Tripp also had the play of the night when she launched a gorgeous 60-foot outlet pass that Limas finished high off the glass for a crowd-pleasing reverse layup.
Center Mckenna Jordan (8 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks) also contributed despite foul trouble and role players Brianna Gallagher and Jenna Oliver combined for four points, five rebounds, six steals and two assists.
Cloverleaf led 17-4, gave up a quick 7-0 run to the Falcons (3-8, 2-3) and blew open the game to lead 38-13 early in the third. The Colts again preferred quantity over quality, shooting no better than 35 percent in any quarter while finishing 20-for-67 (.299).
“We definitely had a fast pace,” Tripp said. “We knew this team was a little bigger, so we could run the floor more after tipped balls.
“It was very physical down low getting layups. When you get the rebound and they’re all after you while trying to throw an outlet pass, they were definitely real physical.”
Sziva entered play averaging 11.9 points but finished with five on 2-for-17 shooting. Guard Katie Darling scored five of her team-high 11 points in the 7-0 second-quarter run, while physical posts Sydney Piacella and Sydney “Buzz” Kline combined for 18 rebounds.
The Falcons saw the floor well enough to force Colts coach John Carmigiano to switch defenses and also did a good job with transition defense initially. Field essentially couldn’t make a shot (14-for-56, .250) and ran out of gas, with Cloverleaf’s 21 offensive rebounds also part of its downfall.
“There were a lot of fastbreaks,” Wangler said. “I know I had a couple passes to (Limas) — long ones — and those are really key when we get those fastbreak layups.”
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or email@example.com.
Cloverleaf 58, Field 32
FIELD 4 9 10 9 — 32
CLOVERLEAF 13 17 16 12 — 58
Field — Emma Parsons 3-0-6, Ryleigh Butler 1-0-2, Sydney Kline 1-0-2, Katie Darling 4-0-11, Maria Sziva 2-1-5, Courtney Currey 0-0-0, Sydney Piacella 2-0-4, Macy Keller 1-0-2, Kaitlyn Feller 0-0-0, Eliana Smith 0-0-0, Hayley Hopkins 0-0-0, Lauryn Bogle 0-0-0. TOTALS: 14-1-32.
Cloverleaf — Brianna Gallagher 0-2-2, Lisa Wangler 5-1-11, Mckenna Jordan 2-4-8, Helaina Limas 9-5-23, Cameron Tripp 4-2-11, Jenna Oliver 0-2-2, Maddie Boltz 0-0-0, Elizabeth Cooper 0-1-1, Lexi Rhoads 0-0-0, Bailey Freeland 0-0-0, Megan Scheck 0-0-0. TOTALS: 20-17-58.
3-point goals — Darling 3, Tripp. Rebounds — Field 39 (Piacella 11), Cloverleaf 49 (Wangler 16). Assists — Field 8 (Parsons 3), Cloverleaf 11 (Tripp 4). Records — Field (3-8, 2-3), Cloverleaf (11-0, 6-0). Junior varsity — Field 32, Cloverleaf 31.