West Holmes Girls Basketball

Lady Knights come up short in Snyder’s debut in 57-36 loss to Hoover

Lady Knights senior Kaylor Perone

New West Holmes girls basketball head coach Lindsy Snyder finally has an official game in the books, although it didn’t become a fairy tale introduction to varsity hoops that one would want.

West Holmes had a tough task in the 2017-18 season opener, facing a North Canton Hoover team that is perennially at the top of Div. I in the state of Ohio.

While the Lady Knights were able to hang around in the first half, the Vikings turned up the heat in the third quarter and sent West Holmes to a 57-36 defeat in Snyder’s debut.

“It’s good. It’s basketball, whether you’re coaching or playing. It’s basketball, and it felt good to get underway for real,” Snyder said of her coaching debut. “We knew we had a tough opponent coming in, but we entered this game with winning as our goal. We had every intention of winning, and I felt that we did a lot of things well, especially in the first half.”

Hoover jumped out to a nearly 6-0 lead before Kaylor Perone dropped in a triple to cut the Lady Knights’ deficit to 6-3. Hoover star Annie Roshak scored twice inside, but Regan Wilcox’s 3-ball trimmed the lead to 10-7. Roshak would sandwich a pair of scores inside around a Maddie Woods layup to give Hoover a 14-9 lead through one quarter.

West Holmes was able to keep things close throughout the second quarter with four points from Katie Sprang and a jumper from Taylor Miller making it 24-17 in favor of the Vikings. However, Roshak kept having her way inside, and Hoover jumped to a 31-19 lead. The Lady Knights were able to cut into that lead right before half when Perone sank a free throw and Kaylin Martin made a steal and scored inside, drawing West Holmes to within 31-22 at the half.

The young Lady Knights were battling and had made things close. That was about to change as the Vikings came out swinging in the third period to put this one away.

“I was excited to come here and get a win, and I thought our defensive intensity really picked up in the third quarter, and that made the biggest difference,” Hoover head coach Abbey Allerding said.

Quick scores from Roshak and Jillian Hawks and a 3-pointer from Peyton Davis pushed the Hoover lead to 38-22. Wilcox finally hit a free throw to break the run, but Hoover answered with six straight including four from Davis. At 44-23 Hoover had seized control and would never look back.

All night long the Vikings leaned on the Ashland University-bound junior Roshak, who hurt the Lady Knights all game, thanks to her dominating size in the paint.

“We really didn’t know that much about them other than we knew they would come out and play hard,” Roshak said of West Holmes. “I knew I had an advantage with my size, but I thought my teammates got me the ball all night in some great positions that allowed me to get some good looks inside.”

Snyder asked Wilcox, who usually defends guards, to take on the unenviable task of defending Roshak. Snyder said Wilcox did an admirable job, considering her size disadvantage and despite Roshak pouring in a game-high 30 points.

“We won’t make excuses,” Snyder said. “Our biggest kid is 5-foot-9, and we can’t control that. I thought all things considered, Regan did a great job in working hard to defend [Roshak.] What we can control is our effort and finishing at the rim and defending the paint, and those are all things we can get better at. I thought Regan did everything she could, and I told her she can’t hang her head because that was a tough task.”

The fourth quarter went back and forth with mini runs, but both teams continued to display an intensity and drive that both programs are well known for.

“They just play so hard,” Allerding said of West Holmes. “They are always disciplined, and we always appreciate that they always bring a great effort, and that is why we love playing them. We know we will get challenged.”

Roshak netted 30 to lead all scorers while Davis added 12 and Makenzie Green pitched in with six for Hoover. West Holmes was led by Martin, who scored eight points, while Sprang, Wilcox, Charolette Brown, Miller and Perone all netted four points. Woods and Paige Race both added three.

For West Holmes it was a huge challenge and a good introduction into the new season as they quickly learned a number of areas they need to work on. Despite the loss Snyder said her team could find positives as well as areas where they know they can improve.

“We did a lot of things well that won’t show up in the stat sheet,” Snyder said. “We played hard all night. Our younger kids learned a lot. They trusted us (coaches), and they trusted each other. We can’t make excuses. Because in the end we lost the game, but we can take pride in a lot of the things we did do well.”

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