Montrose’s Lewis makes key stops, scores in win over FC
BY MARTY MYERS
Times Shamrock Writer
She doesn’t get the glorious jobs, the ones that will grab the headlines.
But when Montrose’s Nicki Lewis is called upon to do something, she’s more than capable of delivering.
Lewis held Forest City’s Carly Erdmann, the Lackawanna League Division IV’s second-leading scorer, to 5 for 20 shooting, and delivered key points down the stretch as the sixth-ranked Lady Meteors remained perfect in league play, trimming the Lady Foresters, 41-38, on Thursday night.
“Can’t say enough because she’s one of those players who does all the stuff that might not go in the newspaper all the time,” Montrose coach Al Smith said. “She doesn’t have huge numbers on the offensive end, but she shuts people down.
“She makes all the hustle plays and stuff, then she stepped up big tonight with that jumper and the two foul shots.”
That jumper came with less than three minutes left after Forest City had a pair of cracks to cut into a 34-30 deficit.
Off a missed 3, Meghan Gilhool, who dished out six assists and scored a team-high 14 points, whipped a pass ahead to Lewis in the front court. She caught it in stride, set her feet and drilled a 17-footer that stemmed the momentum Forest City had after two free throws by Madison McGraw and a back-door layup by Cassandra Bendyk off a feed from Erdmann.
“Huge bucket,” Smith said. “Nicki stepped up big tonight. She played outstanding defense on Erdmann, and she’s a good player and a scorer. Nicki did a great job on her.”
Except for a 30-footer she drained at the end of the first quarter, Erdmann didn’t get many open looks en route to 14 points, sharing scoring honors with Bendyk.
“I’m always put on her and I try to come out knowing she’s one of the leading the scorers in the league,” Lewis said of defending Erdmann. “I just try to hold her under her average and try to frustrate her. I just use everything coach taught us for defense.”
Lewis helped Montrose hold off a furious final-minute surge by Forest City, aided by a pair of airballs on the front end of 1-and-1s by the Lady Meteors.
McGraw, Bendyk and Erdmann all scored in a 6-1 spurt that pulled the Lady Foresters within 37-36 with 20.5 seconds to play, but Lewis hit two free throws to put Montrose back up by three.
“Honestly, I think I like it more when I hear the fans yelling and when I know it’s more crucial,” Lewis said. “More pressure, I think I do better because I don’t think about what I need to do, I just do it.”
Erdmann’s strong drive to the basket made it 41-40, but Gilhool hit two free throws with 4 seconds left and Forest City never got off a tying shot.
But that wasn’t what cost the hosts. Forest City was outrebounded on the offensive glass, 11-4, in the first half, with Montrose converting several of those while building a 23-15 lead.
“I tell our girls every day, you take it one possession at a time,” Forest City coach Natalie Winters said. “Every possession counts. The ball is the most important thing on the floor. In order to be successful, you have to posses the ball as many times as possible.
“You lose by three and you get outrebounded (11-4) on the offensive boards in the first half, it kind of comes back to haunt you at the end of the game.”
Montrose’s Morgan Groover scored all 11 of her points in the first half when she grabbed nine of her 10 rebounds. She also finished with five blocked shots.
In other girls’ basketball action last week:
Mountain View, 34
At Dunmore, Mariah Maciejewski scored 14 points to lead the top-ranked Lady Bucks to a Division III-IV crossover win over Mountain View.
Makenna Whitaker led Mountain View with 13 points.
Lack. Trail, 48
Blue Ridge, 38
At Lackawanna Trail, Melissa Grimm scored 23 points to lead the Lady Lions to a Division IV win over Blue Ridge.
Megan Houlihan led the Lady Raiders with 14 points.
Elk Lake, 37
At Susquehanna, Mashawna Hargett had 17 points and Sara Serfilippi had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Lady Sabers.
Amber Dubanowitz pulled down 11 rebounds for the winners.
Casey Tyler led Elk Lake with 14 points.