AUSTINTOWN _Something happened to the Southeast girls basketball team in the last 10 days.
And Pirates coach Vic Marozzi can't put his finger on it.
Prior to the Portage County League title game against Mogadore a little over a week ago, the Pirates were riding high, stringing together 10 straight victories en route to a 15-4 record.
But against the Wildcats, a lack of focus and a poor effort on the glass resulted in a loss.
Monday at Austintown Fitch High School, Southeast's untimely transgression continued into the first round of the Division II girls sectional tournament, as the Pirates sputtered their way to a 77-42 loss to the Canfield Cardinals.
"I'm disappointed with the way we played, disappointed in our intensity and disappointed in our rebounding," said Marozzi. "Somehow we lost it (in the last 2 games). We were on a nice roll, then all of a sudden we lost it. I don't know why. I can't really tell you why, other than I'd like to get it back. I wish I knew so I could bottle it. If you don't have the fire, you can't play the game right, the game we need to play."
The bright spot for Southeast (15-6) came in the early moments of the contest when Rachelle Cassidy's putback broke a 6-6 tie.
Erin Martin (25 points) then countered with two baskets that sprung the Cardinals on a 28-3 run that made the count 34-11 with 3:47 remaining in the first half.
Southeast scored six straight points at the outset of the third stanza to cut a 27-point deficit to 44-23 at the 6:21 mark.
However, Martin put an end to the mini-run with three baskets that increased the lead to 50-25.
"In the second half, I thought we played better," said Marozzi. "We just came out (in the first half) and got shell-shocked. It was (8-6), and next thing I know we're down by 15 points."
Jill Vertanen and Julie Playforth also reached double figures for the Cardinals, adding 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Canfield, which outrebounded Southeast 35-19, was more athletic than Marozzi anticipated.
"I saw them on tape and in person a couple of times," he said. "I wasn't terribly impressed. But as they played, they were much more athletic once we got on the floor with them."
Lisa Dubinsky led the Pirates with 18 points. Sara Dillon chipped in with 10.
The Cardinals tallied the last 12 points of the first quarter to lead 20-8. The advantage then ballooned to 42-17 at the half and 67-30 after three periods.
AUSTINTOWN FITCH DIV. II SECTIONAL
Canfield 77, Southeast 42
(At Austintown Fitch)
SOUTHEAST (42) _ Rachelle Cassidy 1 1-2 3; Kay Dillon 0 1-2 1; Lisa Dubinsky 7 4-5 18; Kara Gintert 2 0-0 4; Sara Dillon 3 2-2 10; Nicole Hartung 0 1-2 1; Jenn Novak 0 0-0 0; Megan Cassidy 0 0-0 0; Amy Austin 2 0-0 4; Carma Bland 0 1-2 1; Olivia Weber 0 0-0 0; Ashley Austin 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 10-15 42.
CANFIELD (77) _ Kelly Williams 3 0-0 6; Nicole Vlajkovich 2 4-5 8; Jenny Miller 4 0-0 8; Erin Martin 11 2-2 25; Julie Playforth 5 0-0 10; Jill Vertanen 6 2-2 14; Megan Turocy 1 0-0 2; Tee Lisotto 0 1-2 1; Mara Boak 1 1-2 3; Harmony Ramunno 0 0-0 0. Totals 33 10-13 77.
Three-Point Goals _ Southeast (2): S. Dillon 2. Canfield (1): Martin 1.
Total Rebounds _ Canfield, 35-19
Total Fouls _ Canfield, 17-16