Elmwood girls hold off Lake

JERRY CITY — Doug Reynolds presented his girls team with a challenge after a loss to Fostoria Tuesday
His Royals could either pack in the season, or not let the loss affect them moving forward. Elmwood chose
the latter.
Elmwood’s toughness was apparent — Lake’s not so much — as the Royals held on down the stretch, handing
the Flyers a 54-49 Northern Buckeye Conference loss at Elmwood High School Friday night.
The Royals are 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the NBC, while Lake fell to 5-3, 2-2 after dropping an overtime
game to Genoa on Tuesday.
Genoa remained undefeated in NBC play at 4-0 with a win over Eastwood.
“We did not play well,” Elmwood coach Doug Reynolds said of Tuesday’s loss. “… I tell you what, we had
the best practice that they’ve had all year Wednesday. Tonight, they came out with that toughness.”
The Royals let a 41-30 fourth-quarter lead dwindle to just three points on three different occasions in
the last half of the fourth. But for every Lake basket in the final minutes of the game, Elmwood had an
Flyer point guard Jordyn Taylor, who scored a game-high 20 points, hit a 3 to cut Elmwood’s lead to 47-44
with 2:32 to play. Madison Sears countered with a bucket inside just 22 seconds later, and Taylor
followed with two free throws to get the deficit back to three points.
The Royals went on to hit four free throws in the final 1:38 to seal the win as Lake was held to a
meaningless triple with 15 seconds left.
Ashley Veryser finished with 16 points to lead Elmwood, while Jaela Kynard added 10 and 10 rebounds.
“We played in spurts. We play well in spurts,” Lake coach Jim Gracyk said. “We don’t do anything well
consistently. We go through extensive intervals of time where we don’t guard the ball.
“I’m real frustrated,” he added. “Bottom line tonight, we just got out-toughed. They’re tougher than we
Elmwood struggled with Lake’s defensive trapping and pressure at the onset of the game. The Royals
committed nine of their 26 turnovers in the first quarter, where it escaped with a 9-7 lead.
With timely adjustments and the ability to hit long outlet passes down the floor, Elmwood found success
and took a 23-15 lead into halftime.
“We knew they were going to run and jump,” Reynolds said of Lake’s defense. “That’s their whole game.
They’re going to run and they want to pressure you and try to shoot that 3 ball.
“I give our kids all kind of credit for not buckling, for staying out there composed,” he said.
“Everybody did what they needed to do.
Lake battled back to cut its halftime deficit to 23-19 early in the third quarter on a bucket from
Taylor, followed by an jumper from Lauren Ozuk. But Elmwood scored five straight to stretch the lead
back to 28-19. It carried a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter.
“We turned it over too many times. But then we did some adjustments and the kids did a pretty good job,”
Reynolds said. “They handled the pressure.”
Elmwood won the junior varsity game 34-18. Zoe Shank led the Royals with 10 points, and Jessie Coutcher
led Lake with 10 points.
Taylor, 5-1-7—20; Hodgson, 2-0—4; Brittenham, 0-0—0; K. Swartz, 1-0—2; Deal, 0-1-0—3; R. Swartz, 2-1-2—9;
Hansen, 0-1-0—3; Huston, 0-0—0; Frisinger, 0-0—0; Ozuk, 2-4—8. TOTALS: 12-4-13—49.
Bradford, 0-0—0; Sears, 4-1—9; Kynard, 3-4—10; Veryser, 6-4—16; Harvey, 2-0—4; George, 1-3—5; Marsh,
1-0—2; Ervin, 3-0—6; Arnold, 1-0—2. TOTALS: 21-12—54.
LAKE    7    8    13    21    —49
ELMWOOD    9    14    14    17    —54
Junior varsity: Elmwood, 34-18.