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Lady Bulldogs best in Northeast 8 Conference

February 13, 2019
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

It's been a foregone conclusion for most of this season, but the Poland girls basketball team finally clinched the inaugural Northeast 8 conference championship.

The Lady Bulldogs destroyed Hubbard, Niles and Struthers over a five-day span to secure the NE8 crown. Not only has Poland taken the league title, but it has remained perfect in the process. Its three wins last week make twenty in a row this season. That incredible mark has helped the Bulldogs garner the top seed in the upcoming Division II state tournament.

Poland's ride to the top started on Feb. 4 when it crushed Hubbard 95-50 at home. Senior captain Sarah Bury help eliminate the Lady Eagles with 18 points and seven assists. Fellow captain Kat Partika put in 15 points and had three steals. Senior guard Marlie McConnell made 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Article Photos

Photos by Mike Audi, Town Crier

Poland's senior Sarah Bury scores a basket off a pick from freshman Morgan Kluchar at last Saturday's varsity home game. Bury had seven points on the night and Kluchar added five points with Poland defeating Struthers by a score of 62-30.

Three nights later the Poland express kept chugging along in Niles. Partika scored nine points as did stupendous sophomore Jackie Grisdale as the Bulldogs doused the Lady Dragons 62-30. Junior Kailyn Brown was right behind that duo with eight points.

The onslaught continued when the Poland girls hosted Struthers on Feb. 9. A 29-18 run in the first half staked the home team to a comfortable advantage. Poland put the game away in the third period when it outscored the Lady Wildcats 15-5. Grisdale led all scorers with 21 points. She also shot 50 percent from 3-point range and pulled down seven rebounds. Bury scored 13 points, yanked down five rebounds and handed out four assists. Five-foot-eight freshman forward Morgan Kluchar scored nine points and was dominate on the glass with ten rebounds.

About the only suspense left for the Bulldogs is if they will enter the postseason with an undefeated record. Poland played at Liberty this past Monday and will travel to Jefferson on Feb. 14. A win on Valentine's Day should be expected considering Poland has been breaking opponent's hearts since November.

The tournament tips off on Feb. 21 when the Bulldogs welcome the winner of the first-round match between number 8 seed Youngstown East and ninth seeded Crestwood. Since Poland is the number one seed in the Austintown District, it'll have a first round bye. If things go according to plan, then Poland will be playing longtime rival West Branch in the Sectional finals. The Lady Warriors are seeded fourth and await the winner of the battle between Howland and Chaney.

 
 

 

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