Garaway’s quick start subdues feisty Buckeye Trail squad 54-43

There was 1:25 left showing on the scoreboard clock during the sectional championship game between Garaway and Buckeye Trail.

An elderly fan from Buckeye Trail glanced up at the scoreboard, turned, and said to anyone within earshot, “Look at all of those zeroes up there.”

“Up there” was the Buckeye Trail side of the scoreboard, which did indeed have a whole lot of zeroes next t o the player’s numbers in the scoring column. That was because the Lady Pirates were laying down a suffocating half court and full court defense that was completely stymying Buckeye Trail.

A superb 14-2 start to the game paved the way for a 54-43 Garaway win that was never as close as the final score would indicate.

“We were able to do some things that we wanted to accomplish there in the beginning,” said Monigold. “Our defense was pretty good too during that stretch. We were able to take them out of their offense and get after it full court a little bit, and that helped us get off to the big start.”

After a Katya Misko score in the paint started the game, senior Izzy Meese nailed a pair of high-arching 3-pointers to spot the Lady P’s to an 8-0 start. As the Garaway defense continued to haunt Buckeye Trail’s young squad, which has but one senior on it, Kaitlyn Stress hit a jumper to make it 10-0. Jenni Carmichael finally broke the ice by scoring inside, but Kendra Miller’s (video) short jumper and a Misko put-back gave Garaway (20-4) a massive 14-2 edge.

When Meese scored on a spin-move drive to beat the first quarter buzzer, Garaway led 18-6. Things would only get worse for the Warriors in the second half.

Meese bombed home another triple, and Miller knocked down a jumper to move the lead out to 23-6. Carmichael would score twice in a row to trim the deficit to 23-10, but buckets by Meese, Misko and Miller moved the lead back to 29-10.

The teams danced back and forth throughout the third quarter, and after Carmichael drilled a pair of trifectas, to make it 37-25.

“Our help side defense wasn’t quite what it was in the first half,” said Monigold. “We kind of got a little lazy there, but we can fix that.”

Garaway went back to work on offense. Miller hit a three-ball, then she completed a conventional three-point play before Courtney Werker drove home a pull-up jumper to give the Lady P’s a 45-25 lead going into the fourth quarter.

That lead would quickly stretch out to 22 points, courtesy of a Werker trey and Sydney Mullet’s and-one.

That was when Monigold emptied the bench, and the Warriors starters, who remained in the game, reeled off a late 11-0 run to make the score look a bit more respectable.

But it was Monigold and the Lady Pirates who would be the team leaving the Dover gymnasium with something else to play for.

One huge difference in the game was that Garaway boasts plenty of great veteran talent that has been through the tournament grind, while Buckeye Trail is quite young and inexperienced.

Having that senior leadership definitely helps,” said Monigold. “We’ve been down this road before, and our girls know what to expect. They know how to keep battling and persevering when things don’t go the way you want them to, and I thought we did a good job against a young, feisty team.”

Both Meese and Miller would end the game with identical 16s in the scoring column, but it was Misko (video) who had the big game, scoring 12 points and playing huge in the paint.

“We felt we had a big advantage down low with Katya, and we were able to take advantage of that,” said Monigold. “She did a great job of crashing the boards, boxing out and getting rebounds, and she was getting pushed around really hard down low, but she battled hard all game and got herself into really good position.”

Werker would add five and Mullet scored three, while Stress (video) added two to the cause.

Carmichael ended the game with a team-high 16 points, while Karlye Hensley added 11 and Lexe Starr added seven.

Monigold said that any team is only looking for one thing at this point in the season, and that is a “W” to keep moving down the tourney trail. Still, he would like to see the same passion that his team played with early on carry on throughout the contest.

“We did a great job of getting things started,” said Monigold. “I thought Izzy’s threes early helped get us into a nice flow. We’ve just got to keep that momentum flowing for four quarters.”

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