A disappointing loss to Canfield on Dec. 30 put a damper on the Fitch girls basketball team heading into the New Year’s weekend.
Before that 62-43 setback on the road and a bitter 70-38 loss to Federal League stalwart North Canton Hoover a few nights earlier, the 6-3 Lady Falcons have been playing pretty good basketball. One of the main reasons for Fitch’s success has been the stellar scoring of freshman Megan Sefcik. The rookie has been wonderful scoring north of 20 points per game heading into Canfield. Thanks to some crazy good defense by Canfield’s Cally Wollet and others, Sefcik would leave Canfield with only an eight-point night prompting Fitch head coach Stacie Cepin to resolve to get more scoring in the New Year.
“We need other girls to step up,” Cepin said this week before an after school practice. “(Canfield) threw a lot of people at (Megan). They really face guarder her. A lot of teams are starting to do that now.”
The Lady Falcons were in Canfield’s face early taking an 11-2 lead. Erica Braxton and Mariah Snowden gave Cepin some balanced scoring setting the pace with 10 points each. The Lady Cardinals crept back into the game, however, tying the score at 14 after one period, but Fitch was still able to maintain a slim one point advantage at halftime. Canfield outscored the visitors by three points in the third quarter to seize momentum heading into the final frame then totally took control of the contest in the fourth period outscoring the Falcons 20-3.
“We competed,” said Cepin with a sigh. “We jumped out fast. We executed well early. Canfield is a solid program. They never quit and we fell apart in the fourth quarter.”
Cepin and her girls hope to rebuild themselves with four consecutive home games on the horizon. Cardinal Mooney starts that group of games in Austintown on Jan. 5. The subsequent three home games are all Federal League showdowns with Uniontown Lake, Canton GlenOak and cross-town rival Boardman. Playing all of those Federal League contests in the friendly confines of the Fitch gymnasium is a huge change for the Falcons from a year ago. It is a change that Coach Cepin greatly appreciates.
“We competed in a lot of road games last January,” the coach said. “We are in more of a comfort zone (when we are at home). It will be nice just not having to travel. Hopefully we can use these games to build momentum.”