Lake Ridge Royals fall to experienced Berlin Hiland Hawks in first regional appearance

MASSILLON — Coming into Thursday night’s Division IV Regional Semifinal at Perry High School, the only thing that separated Lake Ridge from Berlin Hiland was Hiland’s vast amount of postseason experience.

It turned out to be enough for the Hawks to advance to the regional finals, as they defeated the Royals 38-28.

“Obviously them being here, how many times, is huge,” Lake Ridge coach Lisa Medvetz said. “They’re used to it. I think they got rattled a little bit, but then they found their composure.”

In the first half the Royal’s defense couldn’t have played any better. After senior forward Jasmine Goings gave Hiland a 2-0 lead to start the game, the Royals completely shut down the Hawks.

Lake Ridge went on a 12-0 run and didn’t allow another basket by Hiland unti the 5:34 mark in the second quarter. Overall, they held the Hawks to just 15 percent shooting from the field for the half, and allowed just 8 points to lead 16-8 at the break.

“That first half was a good effort,” Medvetz said. “We scouted them as best as we could, and we went over it. We were all over the place, getting through their screens. In the second half, there were just some moments where we kind of got lost.”

While Lake Ridge was coming off their first district title in the school’s history, Hiland has been to the state finals seven of the past 13 years. As the second half began, the experience of Hiland, and the lack thereof for Lake Ridge began to show.

Hiland came out and began breaking down the Royals defense to start chipping away at the lead. As the lead began to dwindle, Lake Ridge began to tighten up and get out of position on defense.

That opened the door for Hiland junior Regina Hochstetler. Hochstetler led the the Hawks in scoring with 16 points, including three 3-pointers that were dagger-like for Lake Ridge.

In the third quarter, Hiland went on a 10-0 run. Goings hit two free throws to give the Hawks their first lead since leading 2-0, at 21-20.

“It does help making it here every year,” Medvetz said. “For us, not being used to that atmosphere, and those fans, it probably rattled us, especially when they went on that run in the third.”

The Royals quickly snapped the Hawks’s scoring streak on their next possession and retook the lead, but momentum had clearly changed by that time.

The Hawks continued to pressure Lake Ridge and build their lead, eventually pulling away late in the fourth quarter.

Senior Monet Saunders led the Royals in scoring with 10 points, while fellow-senior Sydney Clark added seven. Saunders, Clark and Kyndall Wellons all pulled down seven rebounds, as well.

Hiland moves on to play in the regional finals Saturday at Perry High School.

Lake Ridge ends the season with a 22-4 record and a district title in their first year back after a two-year ban for violations.

“This season means a lot for us,” Medvetz said. “We’re growing and Lake Ridge is a great school. The program is growing. I don’t think I could have had a better first year with these girls.”

Medvetz said she also has a good group coming up, so the future is bright for the Royals.

Berlin Hiland 38, Lake Ridge 28

Division IV Massillon

Regional Semifinal

LAKE RIDGE — Kyndall Wellons 3-0 6, Sharday Baines 2-1 5, Sydney Clark 3-0 7, Monet Saunders 5-0 10. TOTALS 13-1 28.

Berlin Hiland — Emily Yoder 0-1 1, Kendra Schlabach 2-0 4, Regina Hochstetler 5-3 16, Jenica Schrock 0-2 2, Natialie Nickol 1-1 3, Megan Beachy 1-0 2, Jasmine Goings 2-6 10. TOTALS 11-13 38.

3-POINT GOALS — LRA: Clark; BH: Hochstetler (3).

Score By Quarters

Lake Ridge (22-4) 8 8 6 6 — 28

Berlin Hiland (24-3) 2 6 13 17 — 38

Team Statistics

Field Goals — Lake Ridge 13 of 43 (30 percent), Berlin Hiland 11 of 40 (28 percent).

Free Throws — LRA 1 of 5 (20 percent), BH 13 of 14 (93 percent).

Rebounds — LRA 27 (3 tied with 7), BH 20 (Schlabach 6).

Turnovers — LR 10, BH 9.


Last Updated: 3/7/2013 11:19:42 PM EST

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