Muslovski scores 31 in Clippers bounce back win

Sports

Clippers explode in the second half to pull away from the Rockets

COLUMBIANA, OHIO (WKBN) – Powered by standout senior guard Kayla Muslovski, the Columbiana Clippers pulled away in the second half as they downed the Lowellville Rockets 68-34.  With the victory, the Clippers even their record at 1-1.  The Rockets are also 1-1 following a win over Campbell last week.

Muslovski would score 31 points on the night, 20 of them in the second half to pace the Clippers.  Grace Witmer would record 14 points and 6 rebounds while Grace Hammond added 12 points in the game.  Camille Zentner would add 5 rebounds to help the Clipper cause.

After losing to Manchester last week the victory over Lowellville was vital in helping to gain confidence,  “This was definitely a big game because it gave us our confidence back.  We needed to get it back after losing to Manchester.  That hurt us,” Muslovski said.  “Coming here (home) and with our energy and winning definitely helped us get our confidence back.”

“We needed some confidence after that (Manchester game).  We didn’t play great on Friday and give Manchester a lot of credit, they killed us on the boards so we really wanted to focus on a couple of things (tonight).  One was we wanted to rebound better and we knew we needed to have more than four offensive rebounds.  Two, we wanted to share the ball more and get more people involved,” Clippers head coach David Crimson explained the focus of the team.

It appeared the Clippers were very focused at the start as they leaped to a 10-4 lead early in the contest.  But the Rockets fought back as they closed to within two points at 13-11 at the end of the first period with a 7-3 run.

The Rockets would fight all the way back to tie the game at 13 with 7:41 remaining in the second quarter when Marah Bellis would knock down two free throws.  But the Clippers would respond from there to pull away the remainder of the game.  They would go on a 16-8 run to close the first half with Grace Hammond hitting a shot as the halftime buzzer to give the Clippers a 29-21 advantage at the intermission.

“I felt like we were on a roller-coaster ride there for a little bit,” Crimson remarked on the Clipper’s first half.  “Whenever you are a trapping style of defense, you’re going to give some stuff up, and we know that.  You just want to start wearing the other team down.”

The Clippers would distance themselves in the second half as they rushed out to a 38-22 lead with 5:17 left in the third quarter and continued hold that 16 point advantage at the end of the frame 48-32.  They would then go on a roll in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Rockets 20-2 to win by the final 34-point margin.

“Physical fatigue turned into mental fatigue and we had 29 turnovers.  You really can’t do much with that, but I’m very proud of what they put out on the floor tonight,” Rockets head coach Lisa Modelski remarked on the Rockets second-half collapse.

The Rockets were led by Savannah Procick with 8 points and Samantha Moore with 7.  Lily Vari Coppola would pace the Rockets on the boards with 10 rebounds.

“I told the girls we beat Campbell in our first game by 25 and we did not play nearly as good of a game as we did in the first half of this game.  Columbiana is a great team and I knew they had those two outstanding guards that we had to contend with.  I thought we did a good job in the first half sticking with them,” Modelski said.

The Clipper will face a big test this Thursday night as they play at Ursuline.  The Rockets also return to action on Thursday when the host MVAC rival McDonald.

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