JM No Match For University

Hawks Start 2nd on 13-0 Run

Photo by Paul Krajnyak John Marshall’s Abby Blake attempts a shot against University during the 5A Championship game.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — When John Marshall and University last met, the Hawks dominated the entire game on their way to a 32-point victory.

After the first quarter of Saturday’s OVAC Class 5A championship at Ohio University-Eastern, it looked like this one was going to be much tighter.

Then the second quarter started. And that wasn’t good news for John Marshall.

With the score tied at 15-15, University (15-5) went on a 13-0 run to start the second and outscored the Monarchs, 27-8, in the quarter on its way to a dominating 71-51 victory for the school’s first OVAC title since 2013.

“That is a great win to start the postseason run,” University coach David Price said. “That is a great win for our program and it is great for the girls to get to take that trophy back to UHS.

“We made the shots we should have, the easy shots. We made shots around the basket (Saturday) and that is something I have emphasized all week. I feel like they did a lot better job of executing on those shots 3 feet and in.”

Ashten Boggs, who netted a game-high 26 points to win the John Howell Most Valuable Player Award, got the scoring started in the second quarter and it was all Hawks the rest of the way.

Zoe Murphy, who had the big shot in a semifinal victory against Wheeling Park, drained two 3-pointers in the quarter, while Mallory Napolillo and Abbie Coen also added baskets.

On the other hand, the Monarchs were ice cold.

An Anna Blake basket was the only field goal in the second quarter for the Monarchs, with the rest of their points coming from the free-throw line.

John Marshall (14-7) settled for a number of 3-pointers and rarely attacked the basket.

“Second quarter, I think we just got impatient offensively,” John Marshall coach Brock Melko said. “If we would have just stayed patient and not let them get so many easy baskets, that was the difference in the game. Other than that lull we had in the second quarter, we basically played even (44-43 in favor of the Hawks).

“That first half was disappointing because we worked for days on not letting Murphy get any open shots and knew if she got open, it was going in. She got four wide-open and that is 12 points we can’t get back. Then Boggs hurt us in the post in the second half.”

John Marshall went from being tied after one quarter to heading into the locker room in a 19-point hole.

Against a team like University, that was too big of a deficit.

The Hawks stretched the lead to 25 points at 60-35 after three and the Monarchs could only get as close as the final 20-point margin in the fourth.

Shay Straughn led the Monarchs with 21 points. Abby Blake hit four 3-pointers and added 12.

“We didn’t shoot a lot of 3s by design, but more to spread the floor and then penetrate,” Melko said. “At times we settled and shot the first open 3. University did a good job of guarding the basket. I am OK with all the 3s, I just wish we would have made more of the ones we shot.”

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