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Fitch ladies on fire after huge win at Canfield

January 16, 2019
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

Over the holidays the Fitch girls basketball team played some very imposing schools in a tournament in Columbus.

Although that trip resulted in two straight losses, the Lady Falcons learned a lot about themselves both on and off the court. Since the Fitch girls returned home, they have run off three straight victories to move to 8-3 on the campaign. More importantly, Fitch is unbeaten in the All American Conference Red Tier.

"Since we played those elite teams in Columbus, we've won three in a row defeating three very good teams," said Fitch head coach Dan Schnurrenberger. "These girls play hard for each other and the school. They love to compete."

Schnurrenberger's ladies competed excellently last Saturday against Canfield. Heading into the season, the Lady Cardinals may have been the favorite to capture the Red Tier crown. Undoubtedly, the winner of this match in Canfield would have a huge advantage the rest of the season. Thanks to Sabria Hunter, that winner would be the Falcons.

Fitch was winning 62-60 with 1:11 left in the game when Hunter grabbed a missed shot, put the ball in the bucket and was fouled in the process. Her traditional 3-point play staked the Falcons to a 65-60 lead. Canfield would pull to within one point a few moments later and had possession of the pumpkin with eight seconds left. Great defense by the Falcons foiled Canfield's final chance. Hunter finished the night with a game-high 27 points. Jada Lazzaro scored 14 points. Senior shooting guard Taylor Fronk finished with 11 points. Daria Williams was the fourth Falcon in double figures with 10 points. The Falcons were on fire from three-point range hitting ten triples. Fronk and Lazzaro each connected on three.

"It was a great win for us," said Schnurrenberger. "I told the girls they made a lot of winning plays. We have been stressing to make winning plays. This doesn't necessarily mean scoring. It means be a great teammate, make a great pass, make a big defensive stop, grab a rebound."

The Falcons made more plays a few nights earlier when they hosted Howland. Hunter scored 18 of her team leading 26 points after intermission to help Fitch to a 61-56 win. Fitch's star frontcourt force also yanked down 15 rebounds and had four blocked shots. Williams went for 17 points. Mia Jackson scored 13 points for the Falcons. The hosts seemed to have things wrapped up with a nine-point lead with barely a minute remaining in the contest. Howland held strong, however, and was able to cut that deficit down to three points with 20 seconds left. That's as close as the Lady Tigers would get.

"We knew that Howland wouldn't give up," said Schnurrenberger. "I'm proud of how hard my girls played at the end."

A 49-38 triumph at Erie McDowell on January 7 started Schnurrenberger's squad's three game winning streak. Balanced scoring helped Fitch beat the Lady Trojans. It's a fortune Fitch has had for the past couple of weeks.

"What's great about this team is that different girls have stepped alongside Sabria in the wins," said Schnurrenberger.

It would have taken plenty of participants if the Falcons were to upend Boardman this past Wednesday night. Boardman was equally undefeated in the league and was 10-3 overall entering that locally televised showdown. A conference road game at Warren Harding is scheduled for this Saturday. After that, Fitch has a match out of the AAC against Massillon Jackson, then gets back into the league versus Lakeside and Howland. Fitch's coach knows the lessons learned by battling the top schools in Columbus and the bonding that was accomplished down there will be a big boost to his program. He hopes it means more winning ways in the near future.

"Good programs win on and off the court," Schnurrenberger said. "We must continue the mentality to keep the momentum going."

 
 

 

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