Turnovers doom Buckeye Local

MORRISTOWN – When a basketball team only scores one more point than it has turnovers, the end result is usually predictable.

That theory proved true once again Thursday evening at Union Local in the Division II sectional tournament.

The Buckeye Local Lady Panthers, who ousted Edison in overtime on Monday, had troubles with the Minerva pressure. They turned the ball over 33 times, many of which, especially in the second half, led to easy scoring opportunities for the Lady Lions and eventually led to a 56-34 victory.

“They did a nice job of converting our turnovers into points,” said Buckeye Local head coach Willy Luther. “It seemed like every time we turned the ball over, it led to a score. And they ran the lead up on us and we’re just not built to come back from big deficits.”

Of those Lady Panther turnovers, 17 were charted in the first half. However, the Lady Panthers found themselves down just five, 22-17, at the intermission.

“We felt lucky to be in the game,” Luther said.

The 5-point halftime deficit swelled quickly in the third as Minerva scored the first seven points of the period. The Lady Panthers were scoreless for the first 6:10 of the third before senior Kayla Fillipovich stopped the bleeding with a conventional 3-point play.

“Scoring has been a problem for us all season,” Luther said. “I will say that Kayla Fillipovich, gave a great effort every game. She’s playing on a torn ACL, didn’t get much practice in the pre-season and she’s battled all year. Actually, this senior class really stuck together and played hard throughout. It would have been easy for them to give up, but they just kept battling.”

Minerva, which is the second seed in this sectional, build a 15-point lead after three and the Lady Panthers never got any closer than 11 in the fourth.

“No matter what you’re doing, you have to give it 110 percent,” Luther said. “When you’re doing that, sometimes you get some lucky breaks, but it seemed like every time we would get a tip or cause a deflection, the ball ended up back in their hands, somehow.”

The Lady Panthers were led by Fillipovich’s 12 points. Senior Alexis Valuska added eight.

Senior Lorin Clark and Josie Chaddock led Minerva with 14 points each.

The Lady Panthers end their season with a 6-18 record. Along with Fillipovich and Valuska, other Buckeye seniors playing their final game were Danielle Smith and Amy Balk.

Minerva will return to UL on Tuesday to take on Indian Creek, which fended off Tri-Valley in the opening game of the evening’s twinbill.

Scoring:

BUCKEYE LOCAL (34) – Zeroski 1, 2-4 4; Swiger 0, 0-0 0; Fillipovich 4, 4-5 12; Valuska 3, 2-2 8; Czuchran 1, 2-2 4; Balk 2, 0-1 4; Leonard 1, 0-0 2; Morrocco 0, 0-0 0; Banal 0, 0-0 0; Smith 0, 0-0 0; Long 0, 0-0 0; Totals: 12, 10-14 34. MINERVA (56) – Hardgrove 3 0-3 6; Clark 6, 2-3 14; Chaddock 7, 0-1 14; Blocher 1, 0-0 2; Russell 0, 1-2 1; Haynam 4, 0-0 9; Jones 1, 0-0 2; Preston 1, 0-0 2; Bates 0, 0-0 0; Miller 2, 2-2 6; Siedschlaw 0, 0-0 0; Shea 0, 0-0 0; Totals: 25, 5-8 56.

Three-Point Goals: BL – None. M – Haynam.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleader-online.com