Palmyra, OH- It was a big night at a packed Southeast High School where the Lady Pirates welcomed in the Rootstown Rovers for a showdown for the PTC Championship. Southeast came in at 14-6 (6-1 in PTC) while the Rovers were 15-5 (7-0 in PTC).
It was a sluggish, low scoring start for both teams as turnovers reigned supreme early on. Southeast held a 3-2 lead for the first four plus minutes of the opening quarter before Porter Smith swished a three ball for the Rovers with 3:10 to play. That ignited a 9-2 run to close the quarter giving Rootstown an 11-5 lead after one. It was a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the game.
Rootstown started hot opening the second quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 17-5 lead. They did not let up defensively as they pestered Southeast with their full court press and strong interior defense. Offensively Nadia Lough and Sasha Nichols put up 8 of the Rovers 13 second quarter points each scoring 4 points. The Rovers took a comfortable 24-11 lead into halftime. Nichols led the way for Rootstown in the first half with 8 points while Lough chipped in 6 points and 6 rebounds. Sophia Fischer had 4 points and 5 boards for the Pirates.
The Pirates came out playing even up to start the third quarter matching the Rovers point for point midway through the third quarter when Brooklynn McIntyre and Nadia Lough took over imposing their will in the paint combining for 9 of the Rovers final 12 points of the quarter. Rootstown took a 41-22 after Abby White drained a three at the third quarter buzzer. McIntyre had 6 points all coming consecutively in the quarter.
Abby White started the fourth quarter for the Rovers just as she finished the third quarter, with another three ball putting Rootstown up 22. Another three by Kylie McColloch a few minutes later gave the Rovers their biggest lead of the night at 51-28. Southeast fought hard in the fourth quarter but the deficit and Rover defense was too much to overcome. The Rovers went on to clinch their 2nd consecutive PTC Championship with a 55-30 win over the Pirates.
It was a well balanced attack for the Rovers. Nadia Lough led the way with 9 points and 8 rebounds. Abby White, Sasha Nichols and Porter Smith each chipped in with 8 points.
Sophia Fischer had 6 points and 5 rebounds for Southeast.
I talked to a very happy trio of coach Joe Leonard, Nadia Lough and Sasha Nichols after the game.
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