There were not many signature wins for the 8-15 Boardman girls basketball team this year.
The Lady Spartans struggled all season against their sisters in the Federal League, and didn't fare much better against a lot of the local schools either.
One school, however, wished it never battled Boardman this season, and that was Austintown Fitch. The Lady Falcons entered the Division I tournament Monday night winners of 20 out of 21 games, and that only loss came at the hands of the Spartans on Jan. 27. Fitch also faught to beat Boardman in the two teams' first matchup before Thanksgiving. The crosstown rivals met again in Austintown in the sectional opener of the Division I tournament. As was the case in both of the previous meetings, this contest was tight until the end. Despite a valiant effort by the Spartans to pull off a humongous first round upset, the Falcons fought off Boardman 65-62.
After battling back and forth for two-and-a-half periods, Boardman was able to build its biggest lead midway through the third quarter 34-29. Fitch finally flexed its muscles from that point going on an 11-0 run to take a six-point lead after three. Showing a resiliency that seemed to only happen this season when Fitch was on the other side of the floor, Boardman battled back to take a 56-53 lead with just under four minutes remaining in the game. The Falcons then finished the game on a 12-4 run to fly into the second round. Kelly Tomcsanyi tortured Fitch in a losing effort with 25 points.
Last Monday's season ending loss was preceded by a trio of losses in the Federal League that kept the Spartans stationed at the bottom of the standings. Boardman was lambasted by Uniontown Lake 69-44 on Feb. 11, was gouged by GlenOak 51-42 on Feb. 7, and was hammered by league unbeaten Hoover 80-33 to begin the month.
Boardman began the game against 19-3 Lake on fire and was able to stay within five points in the first half before the better Lady Blue Streaks got on a roll. An 18-10 third quarter by the Streaks sent the game out of reach. Tomcsanyi and Megan Volosin scored 12 and 11 points respectively to pace the Spartans. Jenna Kuczek scored nine points. Anna Patoray placed next with seven points.
"We held with the Streaks in the first half," said Boardman head coach Jeff Hammerton, before they blew the game open."
The game against GlenOak was a one-point differential until the fourth quarter when the Lady Eagles exploded for 22 points. Tomcsanyi took home scoring honors for the Spartans with 14 points. Volosin scored 11 points.
Nobody did well for Boardman in the loss to the Federal League champion Lady Vikings. Hoover led from start to finish proving that indeed it will be a team to reckon with during the tournament. After the game, Coach Hammerton paid homage to the 22-0 Vikings.
"We were overwhelmed against the fourth ranked team in the state," he said.
Boardman's final win of the season happened on Feb. 3 when it upended Ursuline 50-29. Tomcsanyi toppled the Lady Irish with 22 points to help the Spartans seize control of the contest. Boardman broke open the game with a 13-1 run in the third period. Kuczek followed Tomcsanyi in scoring with 10 points.
"We rebounded nicely after the loss (to Hoover)," Hammerton said.
Hammerton's team will need rebound from this season's subpar record without the help of some important players. Tomcsanyi, Volosin, Kuczek, Patoray, Jada Redd and Brianna Fonderlin will all graduate this summer leaving Hammerton with plenty of holes to fill in 2014/2015.