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Tiger girls earn big win over state champions

By STEVE BATKO Correspondent Published: February 1, 2017 12:00 AM
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Patience on a new-look spread offense enabled the Twinsburg girls basketball team to defeat Wadsworth 55-43 in a key home win in Suburban League play.

Head coach Julie Solis extensively went to a four corners offense and her club responded as the Tigers broke down the Grizzlies on isolation moves.

Twinsburg didn't necessarily use that dribble penetration to score each time, but rather, distribute the basketball for even better shots.

It was an impressive win as Ashley Morrissette had her Lady Tiger jersey retired as she was honored before the home game against Wadsworth Jan. 28.

For the Tigers, it was a big-time response for a club that lost a crucial league game and its first National Conference loss Jan. 25 in a 46-40 defeat against visiting Stow-Munroe Falls.

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Stow and Twinsburg are both 9-1 in the league while Wadsworth slipped to 7-3. Twinsburg is 11-5 overall.

"We played really well and it was a really good team effort," said Solis.

A key 9-2 spurt by Twinsburg late in the third period and into the fourth stanza keyed the win.

Wadsworth (8-9) fired back from a 30-18 deficit at the half by going on an 8-3 run.

When post Peyton Banks drilled a 3-pointer with 4:48 left in the third, Twinsburg's lead was cut to 33-26.

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"We hit some big shots, and I thought the girls showed good hands and passed well, which helped us finish well," said Solis.

As Twinsburg weathered foul trouble senior forward Dasja Anderson and senior guard Jailyn Reid had two fouls in the game's first 3:45 the Tiger bench contributed.

Senior forward Jasmine Bishop was whistled for two early fouls and had three in the first minutes of the second half as the fouls were piling up.

However, freshman forward Alana Ellis stepped up off the bench and calmly canned a 3-point bomb off a feed from junior sub Trinity Carthen, and it was 40-26 with 1:03 left in the third. It was a 7-0 Tiger run.

With 6:23 left, Anderson scored off a dish from sophomore guard Nya Bussey and the Tigers led 42-28.

"I was a bit nervous with all of the fouls early on, but I thought the kids really played through that quite well," said Solis. "Alana, Trinity, and Brittany Jolly all did good things for us off the bench."

With Bishop hitting 8-of-14 free throws in the final period, Twinsburg held on and did not relinquish a comfortable lead.

Bishop tallied 14 points and had four rebounds and two steals.

Anderson was solid as she netted 10 points and hauled down four caroms while playing strong post defense as the returning state champion Grizzlies committed 18 turnovers.

Senior guard Shaundrea Butler had a strong floor game as she often penetrated and passed off along with Bussey and Reid.

As Twinsburg had only nine turnovers, Butler had 10 points, dished out five assists, and had three thefts in the win.

Ellis netted seven points and had one steal while Bussey was strong on the defensive end and added six points and five assists.

Reid added four points and three assists, plus Carthen (four points, one steal, one assist) and Jolly (a junior forward) played sound off the bench.

With Twinsburg using the four corners, athletes were finding good passing lanes.

A wide open Carthen was found underneath the bucket when Butler lobbed a long pass down low. The layup made it 26-16 with 4:23 left in the first half.

Then with 11 ticks left, a driving shot by Carthen was made possible by a dish by Reid.

"The four corners helped and we had some opportunities something we did not have against Stow," noted Solis.

Banks scored 20 points to lead Wadsworth while center Lexi Lance had 15 points, seven boards, and three blocks.

Stow and Twinsburg split this winter as Twinsburg won the first meeting 41-34 at Stow in early December. Stow (13-2) grabbed a 16-6 first quarter advantage and never looked back this time around.

Lizzy Stefanov broke out for Stow as the sophomore had 12 points.

Strong Stow defense and tempo thwarted the Tigers as Emily Andrassy (10 points and a strong floor game), Lauren Turschak (nine points), and Lexi Petit (eight) also played big roles.

"Stow is a very good defensive team and we talked about focus after the loss," said Solis.

Bishop played well for the Tigers and led with 14 points.

Anderson chipped in seven points, Butler and Bussey each had six; Ellis had four, and Carthen added a 3-pointer.

In the remaining league slate, Twinsburg play at Hudson Feb. 1, visits a solid Nordonia unit Feb. 8, and hosts Cuyahoga Falls Feb. 15 in the season finale.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC


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