Williams, Tigers Win!!!

Varsity vs Howland HS on 12/28/2009 1:00:00 PM
Posted Monday, January 04, 2010 by Gary King

Williams, Howland net win

Tigers’ post player notches triple-double

By ANDREW WHITMER Tribune Chronicle correspondent
POSTED: December 29, 2009

HOWLAND - When the GlenOak Golden Eagles warmed up before Monday afternoon's contest at Howland, little did they realize they were in for a volleyball match.

They weren't working on lay-ups so much as they were sets, and they set Howland's Taylor Williams 11 times - and she spiked them all. Williams triple-double effort of 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 blocks elevated the Tigers to their sixth win of the year, 62-46.

The swats came early and often - much to the chagrin of the GlenOak faithful. Junior Kaylee Redon, Williams' teammate, had a closer view.

"Those were all clean," Redon said. "I love it. She blocks it, gets it, outlets it, and we go score."

Redon had a nice outing herself, tallying 12 points to go with a team-best five assists, most of which created layups for Williams. Redon's physicality ended up being too much for the Eagles (4-5), whose physical style has kept them in games with the likes of North Canton Hoover and Cloverleaf.

"They're a really good team, but I think we frustrated them," Redon said. "It was tough, but this is our house and we like to keep it under control. I thought we stayed composed."

Howland jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead after a basket by Redon, forcing GlenOak into an early timeout. The Tigers went on another run to start the second quarter, pushing a five-point lead at the end of the first quarter to 15 by halftime, 36-21.

GlenOak coach Gary King knew coming in that his girls couldn't afford a slow start.

"I told the girls before we got here, I said, 'There's tradition here, and this is a great basketball program.' We had to come ready to play, and we didn't," he said.

On the contrary, Tigers' coach John Diehl couldn't have felt much better going into the locker room.

"That's about as well as we can play, that first half," Diehl said. "Which is surprising to me after being off for eight days or so. I think we got a little tired in the second half and made some poor decisions."

The start of the third quarter marked the beginning of a role reversal, one where GlenOak came out ready to claw their way back. By applying considerable pressure and putting Howland in foul trouble, the Eagles outscored Howland 13-9 in the third period, and at one point had the lead down to eight, 56-48, in the early part of the fourth quarter.

"That's the way we needed to come out and play from the opening tip," King said. "If you come out and play with that kind of heart and determination early in the game, instead of digging ourselves a hole, we would've been competitive. We laid an egg in the first half, but we played some basketball after halftime."

As King said, however, there is tradition at Howland, and it takes a lot to make the Tigers' panic. With standout guard Olivia Nicholas in some foul trouble, the fourth quarter belonged to senior Jessica Wilson, who cooly regrouped her team and turned GlenOak's press into a layup drill.

"That's the best she's ever played," Diehl said of his senior's performance. "From an overall standpoint, she played ever fact of the game well and kept us together."

Experienced as she is, Wilson understood coming in what a game against a formidable Federal League opponent would mean to her role.

"We knew coming in this would be tough," she said. "I felt it was my responsibility, as a senior, to keep the momentum going. We kept our composure when the intensity picked up."

Sophomore Erika Nites was also solid for the Tigers (6-1), scoring 11 points. Nicholas finished with eight points, four rebounds, and four assists.

GlenOak was paced by Katie Cappello and Nancy Osbourne, both tallying 13 points. Angela Darnley added eight, including two three-pointers.

Looking ahead at the rest of the week, Howland's schedule gets even tougher. Wednesday afternoon features a trip to Jackson High School in Massillon, putting them up against Green in a holiday shootout, a team whose only losses are all close and to the likes of state-ranked Regina, Canton McKinley, and Wadsworth.

"We've only got one day of practice to get ready," Diehl said. "They're very quick and very intense, as we've learned from scrimmaging them over the years. They're always very, very intense and we have to match that early. They play the night before so hopefully that's to our advantage, but we're going to be pressed and trapped most of the game."

As a senior, Wilson takes this part of the schedule for what it is, a chance to prove themselves to teams from outside the Mahoning Valley.

"It's difficult, playing these out of town teams," Wilson said. "We just need to go in expecting to win. We need to keep pushing ourselves, if we do that I don't think there's a team we can't beat."

Tipoff is scheduled for noon on Wednesday.