Lisbon opens season by downing Heartland
COLUMBIANA — In a winter sports season where nothing is promised, it is hard not to wonder if every completed game might be the last.
For Lisbon, it made sure to take advantage of the opportunity in a 52-42 win over Heartland Christian on Friday.
“I told them in the pregame huddle ‘Hey, take a moment tonight, look at the stands, look at your teammates smiling because we never know when this might end,'” Lisbon coach Ryan Snyder said. “Hopefully it keeps going but you never know.”
Two-time letterwinner and junior Parker Henthorne was happy to get the season started.
“It’s nice,” Henthorne said. “Hopefully the season doesn’t get canceled and we can play the rest of it.”
Lisbon was able to jump out to an early lead and held a 31-19 lead heading into the half. After the half, Heartland cut the deficit to 31-26, but Lisbon went on a 7-0 run to end the quarter.
“We really learned how to take mistakes and put them behind us,” Henthorne said. “If we all get down and we don’t forget about the mistakes then we won’t continue to play our game.”
“It felt like we went three weeks without scoring in the beginning of the third quarter,” Snyder said. “Mentality is something we have been working on. We preach let it go. We can’t make a mistake and then dread on it.
“It was just mental toughness and overcoming the runs they had.”
For Lisbon, Tabby Ketchum recorded 11 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals. Madison Haifley had 19 points and knocked down four three-pointers. Freshman Morgan Lively had nine points and 11 rebounds.
For Heartland, Madi Matthews had 28 of the teams 42 points. She also recorded 12 rebounds and three steals.
“Madi is phenomenal,” Heartland coach Justin Rahim said. “I couldn’t ask for a better player. She is a hardworker and an even greater individual off the court. She is going to keep us in ball games every night.”
“The biggest thing for us is making our free throws,” Rahim said. “When you make your free throws, you are able to get your defense set and get back. Free throws will be a big thing for us. Also stopping the ball in transition. The biggest keys I saw tonight were free throws and fouling. When you give them extra opportunities and foul on three-points shots, they were able to get some momentum at the free throw line.”
Heartland finished 7 for 18 from the free throw line.
Even though the outcome wasn’t what they wanted, there were things that the Lions could take away from Friday night.
“We are just trying to increase the numbers here, increase the culture and get a culture that is on the mindset of winning and confidence and belief,” Rahim said. “We pride ourselves on pride, passion and purpose here so for the first game I was definitely impressed.”
Enthusiasm and positivity on the Lisbon sideline was evident throughout the entire game and it is something that they don’t take lightly.
“We practice enthusiasm in practice,” Snyder said. “We are big on being a good teammate and this group of girls, I cannot say it enough times, are an amazing group of girls. They are always smiling and always happy.”
Even though there were some long lulls in scoring and some unforced turnovers, a win is a win for Snyder.
“I’ll take any win,” Snyder said. “We have a lot of things we have to work on and we are young. We got in foul trouble and that put people in positions they never even practiced being in so they really stepped up across the board.”
Lisbon is at Malvern Tuesday. Heartland is at Brookfield Wednesday.
LISBON SCORING: Madison Haifley 4-7-19, Tabby Ketchum 4-3-11, Morgan Lively 2-5-9, Serinity Stacey 2-3-9, Chloe Davis 0-3-3, Parker Henthorne 0-1-1, Cami Freeland 0-0-0, Madison Marriner 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 12, 22-29: 52.
HEARTLAND SCORING: Madi Matthews 11-5-28, Lexi Rice 2-2-7, Jordan Webb 1-0-3, Julia Reynolds 1-0-2, Sophia Stambaugh 1-0-2, Zoe Matthews 0-0-0, Emily Lightly 0-0-0. Mackenzie Lightly 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 16, 7-18: 42.
Three-point goals: Lisbon 6 (Haifley 4, Stacey 2), Heartland 3 (Matthews, Rice, Webb).