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Schafer keys Eagles to victory

Logan Greszler • Updated Dec 29, 2016 at 10:38 PM
MONROEVILLE — Just when Monroeville needed a spark the most, Kara Schafer was right there to deliver.
The junior came off the bench, scoring 25 points to lead the Eagles to a 60-57 win over the Big Red (1-10, 1-5).
“She gives us a spark,” Monroeville coach Brad Dunlap said. “We like it when she comes in and the girls respond to her.”
After trailing for most of the first three periods, the Eagles (2-8, 2-4) were able to tie it up at 45-45 entering the fourth quarter.
When it finally captured the advantage, Monroeville was careful not to let it slip away. Schafer gave the Eagles a four-point lead after completing a three-point play, making it 58-54.
With 4:05 remaining in the game, Plymouth’s leading—scorer Emily Blanton fouled out, finishing with 15 points.
“It’s a next-man-up mentality,” Lady Red coach Scott Speicher said. “One person goes down, somebody else has to step up and do it.”
“Blanton is a nice ball-player,” Dunlap added. “She got into some foul trouble there and we were able to claw and keep hanging around. It didn’t seem like we were able to gain that lead in that first half, but in the second half, we were finally able to do that and we finished. Thankfully we finished.”
The Lady Red had a chance to tie the game, as Tristen Wiley was sent to the free throw line with 30.3 seconds left. However, after making the first attempt, Wiley’s second shot danced out of the rim and fell into Monroeville hands.
Including Schafer, three Eagles notched double-digits, as Ashlyn Tommas scored 13 and Taylor Reer had 12.
“She’s been playing well this year,” Dunlap said of Schafer. “I’m happy to see that.”
With just seconds left in the game, Reer fouled out. However, Dunlap said he wasn’t the least bit worried.
“All the girls can play. We just rely on the next girl. The next girl has got to be ready. Whoever it is, they step in and give us everything they have. That’s all we can ever ask for.
“We’ve beens struggling here of late. We’re in games, we’re close but can’t seem to put everything together. Tonight we were able to finish it and put it together for a win. I’m happy for the girls and to come back in the new year and see what we can do,” Dunlap said.
Blanton and Wiley led Plymouth with 15 points apiece, while Arianna Marx tallied 10 and Chloe Mack added eight.
“Monroeville is well-coached,” Speicher said. “Brad does a nice job with his kids. They’re an upper-class oriented team, so we expected them to stretch the open floor like they did. We’re an extremely young team, but we don’t make any excuses. All losses are on me as a coach and I know that. We need to do things better in practice. Down the stretch, we have to step up and do a better job collectively.”
Plymouth converted on 21 field goals in the contest, nine of which were from beyond the arc.
“That’s what these kids are capable of. We’ve got a group of kids that can all shoot it. Right now we’re focusing on some defensive technique issues that we have to fix,” Speicher added.
In the junior varsity matchup, Monroeville cruised to a 44-22 victory. Macy Schafer scored 12 points, followed by Alexis Green with eight and Kelsie Palmer seven. Kelsey Blankenship notched nine for the Lady Red.
The Eagles won’t be back in action until Saturday, January 7th, when they host Crestview. Plymouth will take on New London on Tuesday.
 
STAT BOOK

Plymouth 57

Mack 3-0-8; Akers 2-0-4; Branham 2-0-5; Wiley 4-4-15; Blanton 6-0-15; Marx 4-2-10. Totals 21-6-57.

Monroeville 60

Gies 1-0-2; Quillen 1-2-5; Tommas 6-1-13; Schafer 12-1-25; Reer 5-0-12; Kerby 0-2-2; Helmstetter 0-1-1. Totals 25-7-60.

Plymouth 13 15 17 12 — 57

Monroeville 8 17 20 15 — 60

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