Taylor Ford’s status uncertain heading into ACC tournament semifinal against No. 2 seed Louisville

first_img Related Stories No. 17 Syracuse buries N.C. State with 12 3s in 80-61 win to advance to ACC tournament semifinalsCornelia Fondren guides Syracuse to win down stretch against N.C. StateGallery: Syracuse advances to ACC tournament semifinals with win over N.C. State GREENSBORO, N.C. — Taylor Ford sat in a chair on the bench staring into the distance with only associate athletic trainer Karen McKinney at her side. Ford was the last player on the court for Syracuse. About 15 minutes later, she hobbled into the locker room on crutches — the only solemn face in an otherwise cheery group.Ford had come off the bench to hit three 3-pointers in a row for Syracuse and turn a two-point lead in the third quarter into a nine-point cushion. She finished with 10 points in 13 minutes. But when she exited the game with 5:08 left after rolling her right ankle, she couldn’t make it back to the bench under her own power. The Orange went on to beat No. 6 seed North Carolina State 81-60 on Friday night at the Greensboro Coliseum, but didn’t have Ford to seal the deal.After the game, Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman was unsure of Ford’s status for No. 3 seed Syracuse’s (24-6, 13-3 Atlantic Coast) game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against No. 2 seed Louisville (25-6, 15-1) in the ACC tournament semifinal. But with less than a day for Ford to get healthy, the Orange has to prepare to be without her.“She rolled her ankle so you never know how those things will react,” Hillsman said. “But Karen is amazing at getting our kids back on the floor and if she’s able to play, she will. If she’s not, we’re going to do what we always do. We’re going to go next man up.”SU center Bria Day tumbled to the ground defending a shot and landed on Ford’s right ankle. Ford fell under the basket and sat on the ground for a few seconds before putting her hand on the basket stanchion to help her stand up. She hopped up and down on her left leg. Each time she tried putting weight on her right foot, she recoiled in pain, biting her lip, closing her eyes and letting out audible gasps.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith assistant coach Cedric Solice under her right arm and McKinney on her left, Ford slowly made her way to the end of the bench. “It changes us tremendously,” SU guard Cornelia Fondren said of the potential loss of Ford. “… You can tell when we’re missing one person.“If she’s not here then we’re going to miss a part of something. Her coming off the bench. Her minutes. Her points that she had today was amazing. Back-to-back 3s. We need that.”Ford has shown the ability to be a spark off the bench for SU. In the team’s biggest win of the season against then-No. 10 Florida State, she hit five 3-pointers.But the senior forward has also battled a back injury all season that has limited her time, only averaging 11.7 minutes and 3.6 points a game, her lowest numbers since her freshman season.Without Ford, the team will turn to Isabella Slim, who starts, but only averages 12 minutes a game and Fondren, the backup point guard who plays every position except center, Fondren said. Forward Julia Chandler, who didn’t play Friday, and guard Brianna Butler could also see time at the four position, Fondren added.“We have a variety of people that can play the four,” Fondren said. “It’s not just a particular person. We can get the job done.”Depth was one of the first topics that Hillsman discussed at the team’s media day before the season. He says he has seven or eight starters and pegged Ford as the sixth or seventh.If Ford can’t play on Saturday, though, the Orange will likely have to play more than just its “starters” and dip into the reserves.“Any given day anyone can step up for us,” Butler said. Comments Published on March 5, 2016 at 2:18 am Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettuscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Taylor Ford elevates her right ankle in the locker room after rolling it during Syracuse’s win over N.C. State on Friday night. Evan Jenkins | Staff Photographerlast_img read more

2nd-half adjustments lead Skaneateles to 49-14 win over Solvay

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on October 5, 2018 at 11:12 pm Contact Adam: adhillma@syr.edu | @_adamhillmancenter_img UPDATED: Oct. 8, 2018 at 6:47 p.m.SOLVAY — As the halftime buzzer sounded, Skaneateles trotted towards the end zone closest to the scoreboard. The Lakers stared at a margin that was unexpected. Skaneateles, the reigning Class C state champions, entered undefeated and yet, it only led Solvay, a team with a losing record, by seven points.“We just kind of looked at each other like, ‘What are we doing?” senior running back Areh Boni said.“The first half, we really beat ourselves,” added senior quarterback Pat Hackler.On its seven first half drives, the Lakers, who averaged over 46 points per game before facing Solvay, scored only two touchdowns. At halftime, Joe Sindoni, Skaneateles head coach, sat his team down and blamed himself for the offensive inefficiencies, he said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn the first drive of the second half, Skaneateles (6-0) altered its game plan. It turned from an offense that depended on Hackler to torch the opposing defensive backs to a more balanced attack. The Lakers ran 21 pass plays to only six rushes in the first half, tallying only seven yards on the ground. After the half, the Lakers used 115 rushing yards to notch five second-half touchdowns, cruising to a 49-14 win at Solvay (2-4).“I felt like I called a not very good first half,” Sindoni said. “I got a little pass happy and kind of needed to bring it back into balance in the second half. Once we made a couple of those adjustments, I think we were alright.”Late in the second quarter, Sindoni was visibly distraught. On a three-yard quarterback draw, Hackler’s helmet was ripped off his head and onto the Solvay turf.Sindoni stomped towards the line judge and unleashed his anger.“That’s such a bad call,” he said.On the very next play, Boni sprinted past his left tackle, breaking arm-tackles, and past the first down line for a 15 yard gain. That was the last time he would carry the ball in the first half.The frustration boiled over at half-time. Sindoni sat with his kneeling players and discussed the root of the Lakers’ inefficiencies. He criticized himself, saying that he called too many passes and didn’t provide the offense any sense of balance. Hackler agreed. This kept Skaneateles out of rhythm, as it struggled to consistently move the chains, Sindoni said.On the first play out of the break, Hackler stood in the shotgun and handed the ball to Boni. He exploded through a gaping hole and shoved away Solvay arm tackles for a 34 yard gain. Sindoni called his number again the next play. Boni once again took an inside hand-off through the middle of the offensive line. He muscled past a Bearcat linebacker’s dive and up to the 22-yard line. Two plays later, he strolled into the end-zone, his second of three scores on the day.The commitment to the run early on in the second half wore down Solvay’s defensive line. That led to a more prolific offense, Sindoni said.And with an effective run game, Skaneateles started connecting on passes that had fallen incomplete in the first half. Hackler completed two touchdowns to junior Nick Wamp, one for 35 yards down the Solvay sideline and another for 70 down the opposite end of the field.When the Lakers led by 28 points, Sindoni substituted in the reserves. Freshman James Musso entered for Hackler and senior Zack Sears replaced Wamp. Sears played soccer for Skaneateles and just switched to football for this season. According to syracuse.com, he’d yet to catch a pass this season.Late in the fourth quarter, Sears ran a fly route down the Skaneateles sideline. As he approached the end zone, he had a step on the Solvay cornerback. Musso slung the ball over the defender’s head and into his waiting arms.Once the referee signaled the touchdown, the Skaneateles sideline erupted in cheer. Teammates mobbed Sears as coaches wrapped their arms around him and screamed, “Let’s go Z!”The Lakers’ halftime stress had turned into late-game celebration.“He’s not one of the guys who starts or anything,” Boni said. “It’s just great to see the guys who don’t play get some of the glory. It’s awesome.”last_img read more