PEPPER PIKE—GlenOak got off to a fast start and never slowed down in an 85-39 win over Mentor in the second game of the Ohio Varsity Tip-Off Classic at Ursuline College on Saturday.
Five Eagles scored in double figures and GlenOak forced 27 turnovers in keeping Mentor’s offense from finding its rhythm.
“Our whole plan was to get our defense set up, our rotation and our press, and we wanted to control the paint,” GlenOak coach Paul Wackerly said. “That was our goal today and I thought we did pretty good with that overall.”
GlenOak led 24-5 and 42-15 at halftime.
“We have some pretty good games coming up and I think this sets the tone for us,” Wackerly said. “In the second half, we didn’t want them to get in the 30s and they did but overall the girls did a good job.”
Junior Hayley Smith scored a game-high 20 points in her first game back after an injury forced her to sit out her sophomore season.
“Hayley is a really, really good player for us,” Wackerly said. “She blew her ACL out last year so she missed her whole sophomore year, so this was her welcome back game. We missed her last year terribly because as a freshman she was dominating. She’s getting a lot of Division I (college) looks. She’s a really, really high-quality player for us.”
Sophia Cashner (11), Jade Abdulla (11), Aniyah Hall (11) and Alexis Lemire (10) also scored in double figures for the Eagles.
“The chemistry is great,” Wackerly said of his squad. “We have a great group of kids and the leadership is really good. Our seniors, Sophia and Jade, are really great leaders. That chemistry is the ‘It’ factor.”
Mentor struggled to match the speed and aggressiveness of the Eagles.
“They’re just physically strong, fast, and aggressive and they cover every inch of the court,” Mentor coach James Hrusovsky said. “That makes it difficult. They did a great job of pressuring us and we kind of panicked at times.”
The Cardinals regrouped in the locker room and played much better in the final 16 minutes.
“I thought we got better in the third quarter,” Hrusovsky said. “The score didn’t show it but I thought we did a good job of handling their pressure after we talked about it. We calmed down and slowed down. It was just about execution and we just struggled in the first half to execute.”
Brooke Hickman led Mentor with 11 points while Carolyn Wochele finished with eight and Cassie Sellers contributed with seven. Hickman also led the Cardinals with six rebounds and Wochele and Sellers both finished with three.
Haley Adams contributed to this story.