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DDN: Alter Girls Drub Franklin to Advance

February 20, 2014
Archbishop Alter High School

Alter girls drub Franklin to advance

By John Cummings

Contributing Writer Dayton Daily News


The message is clear each time the Alter High School girls basketball takes the floor in the postseason.

Each game is to be taken seriously, whether it be a showdown down the road for the state’s second-ranked Division II team or 12-11 Franklin in the Lebanon sectional semifinals Wednesday night at Lebanon High School.

“We have to be ready for everything each time out,” Alter freshman Libby Bazelak said after scoring 14 points to go with six rebounds, eight steals and three assists in the Knights’ 79-37 win over the Wildcats. “We have to take everything one step at a time.”

Taking things one step at a time is more of a program note for Franklin than a game note.

When coach Lean Sams arrived four years ago, the Wildcats had not won a tournament game, was mired in losing seasons and would lose by 50 to Alter.

“It is about a climate change,” Sams said. “It is slowly changing. The last time we played Alter, we lost by 50 and never contended. Here, we contended for a quarter, so that’s good.”

The Wildcats gave Alter all it wanted early, tying the game at 6-6 on a basket by Jayna Farmer and trailing just 11-9 with 1:50 left in the opening period after a 2-pointer by Mackenzie Glenn.

Then the Knights turned up the pressure.

Alter closed with four straight points by Haley Combs to begin a 19-2 run and push the lead to 30-11.

Alter, which had started the game 1-for-6 from 3-point range and 6 of 16 overall from the floor, forced 19 Franklin turnovers in the first half in increasing the lead to 43-15 at the break.

“Once we hit a couple of shots, we were able to get into our press,” Alter coach Christine Hart said. “That really opened some stuff for us.”

Alter led 67-21 after three before resting starters most of the fourth quarter.

“We played a lot more like ourselves once we started pressing,” Bazelak said. “We like to pressure and wear teams down and use our defense to get up on offense.”

Franklin finished with 30 turnovers. Alter, after the slow start, hit 28 of 64 shots from the floor, including 10 of 23 from 3-point range.

Next for the Knights is the sectional final Saturday at 1:30 against Thurgood Marshall. Their coach knows there’s room for improvement.

“Our half-court offensive set has to get better,” Hart said. “But we can always get better with execution.”

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