November 22, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
46°F

Colts get to cut down the net

Cloverleaf's Jessica Lindemeyer battles Parma's Jasmine Miller for the ball in the second quarter. (JUDD SMERGLIA/ GAZETTE)

Cloverleaf’s Jessica Lindemeyer battles Parma’s Jasmine Miller for the ball in the second quarter. (JUDD SMERGLIA/ GAZETTE)

Albert Grindle

The Gazette

WESTFIELD TWP. — Jessie Lindemeyer didn’t spin the net ’round her head like a helicopter — a la the Petey Pablo song “Raise Up”  — but she still she still smiled as she twirled it.

The three-year letterwinner was the final Cloverleaf girls basketball player to climb the Werner stepladder and snip the net Thursday following the Colts’ 66-38 victory over Parma.

All 17th-seeded Cloverleaf did was win a Valley Forge Division I Sectional final and advance to face No. 2 Berea-Midpark in the district semis. The Colts won’t get a trophy for that, but having a little celebration on their home court felt good regardless.

The scenario was made possible by the Ohio High School Athletic Association this year, as it allowed higher-seeded teams to host sectional games instead of playing at a neutral site.

“Me and Emily (Civittolo) were talking about it,” Lindemeyer said while wearing one of the nets around her neck. “We were so used to going to Medina (for sectionals) and everything, but it was such a great opportunity to play here and have all our fans. It was a great start. I loved it.”

Cloverleaf (11-12), which has won a sectional title in four of the last five seasons, used a dynamite all-around performance from Lexi Civittolo and outstanding first-quarter defense to pull away from the 29th-seeded Redmen (4-18).

A 5-foot-10 shooting guard, Lexi Civittolo finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists and nine steals. She was instrumental in an 18-2 first quarter with four boards and four steals, then added eight points, three thefts and two dimes in the third to help keep the game at blowout status.

While older sister Emily Civittolo (13 points), Lindemeyer (10) and Lauren Gokey (10) also reached double digits in scoring, Lexi Civittolo was the star of the night despite sitting the final nine minutes.

“I just go out there and go with the flow of the game and try to make sure my teammates always have good opportunities,” she said. “I want to make sure everyone else has chances, too, and if I’m open, I’ll take a shot. I try to let the game come to me.”

The Cloverleaf defense made sure Parma didn’t feel comfortable.

Mixing in full-court pressure to complement a half-court scheme centered around Parma all-time leading scorer Nicole Gorka (9 points on 2-for-14 shooting), the Colts forced 15 first-quarter turnovers in front of their 50-member student section that was loud and engaging all night.

Parma had 28 of its whopping 42 turnovers in the first half, after which it trailed 32-12. The Redmen also shot 2-for-17 in the first 16 minutes, while 1,000-point scorer Gorka was held without a field goal until 2:14 remained in the game.

Twenty-three of Parma’s turnovers came via Colts steals, with Lexi Civittolo (9), Gokey (5) and Lindemeyer (3) leading that brigade.

“We had Tallmadge last game (in a 49-40 loss). It was their senior night and they just came out so strong,” Lindemeyer said. “We weren’t ready for it. We could have won if not for that run, so we said, ‘Let’s go out like Tallmadge,’ and it was 18-2.

“I feel like we have so many girls that are willing to do what it takes to win. It’s awesome.”

The game wasn’t perfect for Cloverleaf by any means, as Parma freshman center Andrea Scali had game highs of 16 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. That’s not good news with Berea-Mipark star and Pittsburgh recruit Stasha Carey on the horizon.

The Colts will worry about that later, however, because they were too busy celebrating Thursday.

“It’s an amazing experience,” Lexi Civittolo said.

Notes

Thursday was not the first time a Cloverleaf basketball team cut down the nets on its own court. The boys team defeated Orrville, Wadsworth and Triway to win the 1969 Class AAA Sectional.l The teams combined to shoot 1-for-19 from 3-point range.

l Cloverleaf’s Erian Hamilton, Zelda Raines and Anna Winnicki made their varsity debuts.

l Parma had a down year under third-year coach Cassie Seth, who led Highland from 2009-11, but good times may be near. The Redmen’s junior varsity was 12-9 and the freshman unit was 15-3.

Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.

Cloverleaf 66, Parma 38

Valley Forge Division I Sectional final

PARMA                                     2   10   6   20  —  38

CLOVERLEAF                       18  14  15  19  —  66

Parma — Nicole Gorka 2-14 5-8 9, Arielle Lewis 1-6 0-1 2, Andrea Scali 6-10 4-8 16, Jackie Luszczynski 0-2 0-0 0, Jasmine Miller 0-0 4-4 4, Jaylin Navarez 0-1 1-2 1, Erin Bukach 1-5 0-0 3, Bailey Markowski 0-0 0-0 0, Jessica Hinkle 1-2 1-2 3, Zakiyah Wesley 0-0 0-0 0, Hailey Zanin 0-3 0-0 0, Sara Formoso 0-3 0-0 0, McKenzie Papp 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 11-47 15-25 38.

Cloverleaf — Emily Civittolo 5-12 3-5 13, Lauren Gokey 4-8 2-2 10, Bri Burgos 1-5 1-2 3, Lexi Civittolo 3-8 6-11 12, Jessie Lindemeyer 5-11 0-0 10, Ava Illig 2-4 0-0 4, Meredith Illig 1-4 0-0 2, Lexxie Fowler 0-1 1-2 1, Taylor Barnum 1-1 4-4 6, Kassandra Kemp 1-4 1-2 3, Kayla Wilson 0-1 0-0 0, Jillian Miglich 1-2 0-0 2, Erian Hamilton 0-1 0-0 0, Zelda Raines 0-1 0-0 0, Anna Winnicki 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 24-63 18-28 66.

3-point goal — Parma 1-12 (Bukach 1-4, Navarez 0-1, Lewis 0-1, Zanin 0-1, Papp 0-1 Gorka 0-4), Cloverleaf 0-7 (A. Illig 0-1, L. Civittolo 0-1, Kemp 0-1, Lindemeyer 0-1, E. Civittolo 0-3). Fouled out — Gorka. Rebounds — Parma 37 (Scali 12), Cloverleaf 31 (L. Civittolo 7). Assists — Parma 5 (Miller 3), Cloverleaf 14 (L. Civittolo 4). Turnovers — Parma 42 (Navarez 8), Cloverleaf 23 (Lindemeyer 4). Total fouls — Parma 20, Cloverleaf 19. Records — Parma (4-18), Cloverleaf (11-12).