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Lake County Sentinel
​Storm falls short in upset bid, nipped by Eagles 86-79 

BY TIM SHIRER
SPORTS EDITOR
(PAINESVILLE, OH) - The Lake Erie Storm women’s basketball team was playing very nice basketball entering Thursday night’s contest against the Ashland University Eagles. The Eagles entered the game as the number one ranked team in the nation (Division II) with 18-0 record 10-0 in the GLIAC.

While running their record to 18-0 the Eagles had run over opponents, with only three games decided by less than 14 points and winning six games by more than 40 points. However, the Storm had different ideas as they gave the Eagles everything they had. Unfortunately for the young Storm team, Ashland experience prevailed to secure the victory 86-79.

The game was not what the Eagles probably expected as the Storm came out in the first quarter with their A game. Through the first 7:04 of the game the Eagles led 10-7, they only managed to extend their lead by one the rest of the period to lead 22-18 when the first period buzzer sounded. Ashland’s Laina Snyder led all scorers through the first with 10 points. Sophie Sonneman led the Strom with seven. Both teams shot only 37.5% in the opening period.

The second period was even closer as the Storm did not allow the Eagles to increase the lead as they played even in the quarter 19-19, giving the Eagles at 41-37 halftime advantage. The Eagles Snyder led all scorers at the half with 14 points. Lake Erie’s all-time leading scorer Kayla Gabor lead the Storm with 11 points at the break.  

The third quarter was more of the same as the Storm continued to put pressure on the undefeated Eagles. With 2:27 left in the quarter the Storm closed the gap to two points at 60-58 on a Sonneman layup and a free throw. At the end of the third the Eagles were clinging to three-point lead 65-62. Lake Erie’s Gabor was the leading scorer in the game after three quarters with 21 points. Laina Snyder had 19 for the Eagles.

The momentum however turned in favor of the Eagles to start the fourth quarter as the Eagles went on a 9-2 run and increased their lead to the largest of the game 10 points at 74-64. Ashland head coach Robyn Fralick, not exactly taking the classy approach in the final quarter screaming in the direction of the shot clock operator, “find a new profession,” as her team was struggling on defense and the Eagles lead was cut to five points. The Eagles led by their Muffet McGraw wannabe coach went on to earn the victory 86-79. Fralick was all over the officials the entire night, unhappy with nearly every call.

The only margin of victory of the year that was smaller for the Eagles in this undefeated season was when they beat Bellarmine 88-83 on December 30 at Bellarmine.

Storm Head Coach Bob Booher said after the game that he hopes this game helps his team take the next step.

The Storm will be in action next on Saturday at the University of Findlay at 1:00 p.m.

 tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com or follow Tim on Twitter @IndiansTim
POSTED 01/19/2017 20:10
Photo by Tommy Shirer