By Corey J. Corbin
Allied News Sports Correspondent
GROVE CITY —
GROVE CITY — The Lady Eagles had more than Meadville to contend with Thursday night.
Grove City (4-2, 9-6) had to overcome several illnesses, subfreezing temperatures and an athletic Lady Bulldog team (2-5, 3-12) to earn the 46-29 Region 5-AAA victory at The Eagles’ Nest.
“We’re really happy to get this win today,” Grove City coach Mike Hostetler said. “We were really hit hard by the flu this week. I had about 8-10 girls in practice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. A lot of them still didn’t feel good today. (The Eagles) were tired and Meadville’s a physical team.”
The fatigue from the illness played a large part in what defensive strategies Hostetler employed to slow down Meadville, who committed 21 turnovers and made just 10-of-46 field goals.
“We are a man-to-man team, but we’ve worked on the 2-3 and the 1-3-1 zone,” Hostetler said. “It’s been effective against certain teams at certain times. Tonight, we were glad to go to that and slow them down. (Vactor-Pope) is a good penetrator when she wants to penetrate, so I didn’t want to play against them especially when we were tired. Being able to go zone against them was really helpful.
“Our zone defense got to their shooters. They made for difficult shots. We didn’t give them wide open shots where they could set their feet. We also know (jump shots) aren’t their strength. Their strength is probably penetrating and getting rebounds inside -- scoring that way. We wanted to take that away and we wanted to make sure their three-point shots were contested. I think we did that overall.”
The Lady Eagles, too, had their own offensive issues to battle through. Grove City committed 22 turnovers and made just 17-of-42 shots.
“That zone gave us problems,” Hostetler said. “We scored just enough to be able to stay in the zone. It was a big win to get through that. We haven’t been able to practice hard. We haven’t sprinted up or down the floor, because the girls we had were kind of sick. Their defense did a good job of funnelling us to the middle. They’re strong with their hands and they’re pretty good athletes. They caused some of it. Some of it was our fatigue.”
Grove City got solid efforts from Corianne Hyduchak (15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals) and Jenn Ferguson (6 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists).
“(Ferguson) hit the boards pretty hard and scored some big baskets down the stretch to keep that lead at 18-20 points,” Hostetler said. “That was just enough to keep the pressure off. She does some good things in there. She’s really come along.
“(Hyduchak) is our go-to person out there. When we need the ball in the middle against a press or a trap, we like to get it to her. She’ll make a little move. She’s really worked on her little pull up jump shot and she hit it a couple times tonight. She’s really starting to expand her game tonight.”
Notes: Grove City outrebounded Meadville 44-38. … Meadville was led by Cadi McCoy’s 9 points and 11 rebounds, while Kiashiah Newsome added 7 points. … Jordyn Wyllie and Danyelle Lucido evenly split 12 points for Grove City, while Arianna Sprando had 3 steals. … The Lady Eagles had 11 assists.