It was a Merry Christmas for the Boardman girls basketball team.
The Lady Spartans earned their third and fourth wins of the year in games against two tough opponents. Boardman went on the road and picked up a Federal League win over Massillon Jackson 44-37 then came back a few nights later and handled Howland in a non-conference tilt 45-35. Wins of this magnitude for an upstart program like Boardman's was just enough to put head coach Jeff Hammerton in a jolly holiday mood.
"Those were two impressive wins," Hammerton wrote in an email. "We were excited to pick up our first Federal League win of the season."
The Spartan girls were able to earn that triumph because their defenders had one of their better games of this season.
"Boardman"s defense was the story of the game," Hammerton said. "We held the Lady Polar Bears to just 37 points and limited point guard Landrie Grace and center Abby Duffy to just two points apiece."
Boardman's offense wasn't electrifying by any means, but it was effective. Kelly Tomcsanyi topped all scorers with 18 points. Megan Volosin hit double-digits as well with 11. Jada Redd added eight points for the victors while Jenna Kuczek collected five. Rounding out the scoring for the Spartans was Briana Fonderlin who notched three points. This was Fonderlin's first game back after suffering an ankle injury in early December.
The defense once again dominated Dec. 21 in the win over visiting Howland. Boardman was able to beat the Lady Tigers because it closed out this closely played game by holding Howland to just 13 points in the second half.
"Once again our defense was fantastic," Hammerton said.
Some hot shooting early in the game by Volosin allowed the Spartans to play from in front this game. The senior scored 12 of her game-high 19 points in the first quarter as the home team built an early advantage. Nine of those first period points came via the three-pointer. Tomcsanyi also hit a trio of three-pointers and finished right behind her teammate with 17 points, but she was also a force collecting almost every missed shot.
"Tomcsanyi was a monster on the glass," said Hammerton. "She grabbed seven rebounds including three offensive rebounds."
Anna Patoray and Kuczek each hit for four points to round out the Boardman scorebook.
After a home game against Canfield on the weekend after Christmas, the Spartans were scheduled for three straight road trips. Two of those contests will be inside the conference at Uniontown Lake and Massillon Perry.