By KEVIN LYNCH
Daily Record Sports Writer
BERLIN — There were a trio of down-to-the-wire games, one 10-point affair and one blowout in the five games not featuring area ties on Day 1 of the Classic in the Country. Myrtle Beach, coached by Triway alumni Brian Kiper and the hosting Hiland Hawks, were also in action (see related stories).
Minster 51, Minerva 47
Minerva was outscored 18-6 in the second quarter, and that stretch proved to be the undoing of the Lions against Minster in the tipoff game of the Classic in the Country Saturday at the Perry Reese Jr. Community Center.
“That’s been our downfall in all the games we’ve lost. We just go through those five-minute stretches where we don’t get any shots,” said Minerva coach Bruce Wright.
In spite of the second-quarter hiccup, the Lions roared back from a 13-point deficit to pull within two in the waning seconds of the game. Kayla Wuebker (12 points) iced the win with two free throws. Delanie Wolf paced the undefeated Wildcats (12-0) with 18 points.
Minerva (7-4) was paced by 6-foot-4 Marquette-bound senior Chelsie Butler’s 18 points and five rebounds.
Hoover 68, Mount Notre Dame 65
A pair of traditional D-I powers went toe-to-toe in the second game of the Classic, and the Vikings hung on for a wild win.
Hoover jumped out to a 24-10 lead after the opening period of play behind a balanced attack from the inside (freshman Kaylee Stroemple) and outside (sophomore Samantha Pavkov).
Iowa-bound Kathryn Reynolds and Gabby West lit it up from 3-point range for Mount Notre Dame in the second quarter to bring the Cougars back to within six, 35-29, at intermission.
The Cougars clawed their way back from a 10-point deficit to take a one-point lead to open the fourth quarter, only to see the Vikings go on a 10-1 run to wrest control of the contest.
Mount Notre Dame again pulled back to within two on a 3-pointer by West (17 points), but the Vikings were able to fend off the late charge by the Cougars.
Stroemple led Hoover’s balanced attack with 15 points and eight rebounds. Hannah Romano added 13, Erika Warren 10, and Kelsey Peare pitched in nine.
Reynolds led all scorers with 27 points, including five 3-pointers.
Northland 39, Lakota West 29
The Vikings of Columbus Northland improved to 12-0 on the season, riding a strong second half to victory over the Firebirds.
Lakota West jumped out to a 15-8 lead after the first quarter, but only scored three in the second quarter and four in the third as the Vikings surged ahead 30-22 after three.
Symone Denham led the way for Northland with 16 points. Tatiana Chapple added 10 for the winners. Summer Reeves scored nine to lead the Firebirds (8-4).
McKinley 52, Brookhaven 24
The Bulldogs started barking right from the opening tip, and the top-ranked team in the state manhandled the Bearcats.
McKinley had a trio of players score in double figures, led by Marquita Turner’s 11. Gabby Kendall came off the bench to score 10 and grabbed 10 rebounds. Ameryst Alston added 10 points and Laneisha Lennon just missed double figures with nine.
“They were everything we expected… and more. A lot more,” said Brookhaven coach Reggie Lee. “They were physical and we didn’t answer that physical challenge.”
Briana Holmes, who came into the game averaging 17 points for Brookhaven, was held to two points with no field goals.
Twinsburg 60, DuPont Manual 56
The Crimsons came to Ohio for a dose of Buckeye basketball, and the Twinsburg Tigers gave the girls from DuPont Manual all they could handle.
“They are phenomenal. Nobody in Kentucky is that good, ” Crimsons coach Stacy Pendleton said. “It was a great game, very physical. We did a poor job of finishing.”
The Tigers jumped out to a 17-5 lead behind the inside-outside game of 6-5 Malina Howard and Leah Fechko. Howard paced the Twinsburg attack with 19 points and nine rebounds. Fechko added 18 points.
The Crimsons outscored the Tigers 21-8 in the second quarter to take a 26-25 halftime lead, thanks to a trapping press that led to many of the 33 Twinsburg turnovers.
The Tigers adjusted in the second half to the trap and regained the lead 39-34 by the end of the third quarter.
DuPont Manual got 14 points from Mechael Guess and 13 from LeAsia Wright.