Wednesday, June 19

    Perry rides defense to win over Geneva

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    PERRY—Perry turned to its defense to set the tone in a 40-33 win over visiting Geneva in a Chagrin Valley Conference Lake Division showdown.

    The Pirates allowed just three points in both the second and fourth quarters to seal the win.

    “We changed defenses on them a little bit,” said Perry coach Roy Infalvi. “(Geneva) got out to a hot start. They made some quick shots, and we had a few breakdowns defensively. We kind of changed what we were doing defensively. I think that sparked us offensively. The two sides of the ball worked well together.”

    Trailing 17-10 after the first quarter, the Pirates amped up their defensive effort and outscored the Eagles 10-3 to send the game into the break tied, 20-20.

    The Pirates were even more dominant in the second half.

    After a back-and-forth start to the third quarter, the Pirates held Geneva scoreless for the final two minutes of the third and the first seven minutes, and nine seconds of the fourth.

    “We’re playing really well defensively as a team,” Infalvi said. “We’re rotating well together, and we’re communicating. We knew where their shooters were, we knew where their drivers were, and the way we closed out depended on who it was with the ball, and I thought our girls did a really good job of preparing for it and knowing who did what for them. I think all just kind of came together tonight.”

    Perry’s offense was a team effort with Victoria Lynch leading the way with a game-high 19 points, with 14 coming in the second half. Audrey Austin also scored in double figures with 10, Rosalyn Tharp added nine and pulled down seven rebounds, and Mia Lynch scored two points.

    “It’s great to have balance,” Infalvi said. “Everyone that’s stepping on the court is contributing, whether it’s on offense, defense, and rebounding. Victoria did a great job scoring tonight. She started slow, but she kept her confidence going into the second half. Rosalyn did a great job on the boards, even boxing out well and limiting their attempts and really attacking the rebounds. She was key in that third and fourth quarter stretch keeping them off the glass and holding them to one shot.”

    With the win, the Pirates improved to 13-6 overall and moved into a second-place tie in the Lake Division with a 9-4 record. Perry extended its winning streak to three straight games.

    “I think we’re meshing well as a team right now,” Infalvi said. “We came into the season with some moving parts to start the year with a mix of experience and inexperience. Our experienced players had to take different roles this year. It just took a little bit of time. Even early in the year, we weren’t playing bad basketball, all of our losses were close, but I think we’re really starting to jell together. I’m happy with where we’re at going into the tournament.”

    The Pirates drew a first-round bye in the postseason and will host the winner of the Struthers/Salem sectional semifinal in a sectional championship game on Feb. 24.

    Perry closes out the regular season at Lakeside on Feb. 10 and with home games against West Geauga and Gilmour Academy on Feb. 12 and 15, respectively.

    “We have competitive and intense practices,” Infalvi said. “Seeing the results of our hard work paying off makes a big difference for our team. I think they’re believing and confident in each other and I see that propelling us moving forward. I don’t think that’s going to stop.”

    Geneva dropped to 15-4, 8-4 with the loss to the Pirates.

    “We just had some mental breakdowns,” said Geneva coach Emily Vossers. “We hurt ourselves tonight. When you play a team like Perry, they’re going to play hard, and they play help defense. We made mental mistakes and got down on ourselves and that affected our offense tonight.”

    Tahkya Myers led Geneva with nine points, Delaney Marrison scored eight, Brooke Richmond finished with seven, Moharrah Jackson added five, and Emily Buck scored four points.

    Moving forward, Geneva will try to learn from its mistakes as it heads into the postseason.

    “I think this game can be a great learning experience for the team,” Vossers said. “We have to be able to put together a whole game and give it all we got. This game shows us that if we don’t show up we’re going to lose. We just have to get back at it tomorrow.”

    Geneva hosts Jefferson on Feb. 10.


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