POLAND OH- The third matchup of the season between Struthers and Poland carried the most weight. The winner of this game moved on to the Fitch district semifinal, the loser would end their season. Poland needed every ounce of energy to beat a hungry Wildcat team 56-43.
The first half of the game was very competitive. A back and forth affair. Struthers made a statement out of the gate as Emma Elia knocked down a long two for the first points of the game. Poland would eventually grab the lead back, but not by much. The Bulldogs kept the lead for the rest of the half but Struthers never let it get over four. Poland held on to a 26-24 lead at the break. Much different than the first two matchups which were dominated by Poland.
The third quarter is when Poland began to create some separation. They got tremendous toughness inside from Kailyn Brown who finished through contact a couple times. They also got strong hustle plays off the bench from Ella Harrell. Brooke Bobbey has a key steal and fast-break layup near the end of the third to keep Struthers at bay. In the final frame, Poland’s depth took its toll as they slowly but surely pushed past Struthers. Harrell got half of her 12 points in the fourth quarter.
Jackie Grisdale became the seventh player in the Poland program to reach 1,000 points tonight. It came in the third quarter on her thirteenth point. She led the offense with 19 points in total. Three other Bulldogs were in double figures. Ella Harrell used a strong final frame to finish with 12, Kailyn Brown contributed 11 and Brooke Bobbey added 10.
Chloe Neider led the Wildcats with 13. Emma Elia put together a strong night with 10.
Poland advances to play Southeast Wednesday at Austintown Fitch in the district semifinals. The tip is set for 6:00.