(NORTH CANTON, Ohio) – The Mayors' Cup has been returned to the confines of the Cecchini Center after Walsh defeated Malone 67-54 on Senior Day Saturday afternoon. The Cavaliers (18-8, 15-5) remain in the hunt for the conference championship, while the Pioneers (9-15, 7-13) are in a log jam for the final playoff spot in the G-MAC Tournament.
Head Coach Kate Bruce's group controlled most of the game with Malone seeing its only leads take place in the first quarter. After the Pioneers went up 12-11 on a jumper with 34 seconds left, a pair of seniors answered as Alex Hochstedler scored a triple and a last-second steal and buzzer beater jumper by Dominique Foley put Walsh up 16-12.
The momentum shift continued into the second where Walsh started the pull away. A Baylen Dyrlund traditional 3-point play put Malone within two just 1:21 into the frame, but the Cavs closed the quarter by doubling up the Pioneers 20-10 the rest of the way for the 40-28 halftime lead.
The Cavs led by as many as 17 after another senior Holly Grober scored on a layup shortly into the fourth.
Walsh's offense was once again well-balanced with its two leading scorers coming off the bench. Jill Blacksten reached double-figures just the third time this season and led the team with 13 points. She was 3-of-5 from the field with a 3-pointer and a perfect 6-for-6 at the line.
Tyler Newkirk was perfect everywhere as she went 4-for-4 from the field with a three and went 3-for-3 from the line. Mayci Sales added 10 points as the only starter in double-figures and pulled down nine rebounds.
Defensively Walsh had one of its finest games as only four starting players comprised of all of Malone's points. Dyrlund led that quartet with 19.
With the Mayors' Cup back in the trophy case, Walsh now looks to the final week of the regular season. Two big games lay ahead on the road with Lake Erie and Ursuline. Wins in those two games and some help could give the Cavs a conference championship in their first season in the G-MAC.
Lake Erie is first with tip-off at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday in Painesville.