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Tiger girls win title, open playoffs

By STEVE BATKO Correspondent Published: February 22, 2017 12:00 AM
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Donned with solid senior leadership, the Twinsburg girls basketball team has been busy winning important games.

The Lady Tigers (18-5) got it done in the league and in the post season opener, in quick fashion in both cases.

Twinsburg finished 13-1 in the Suburban League National Conference with a 49-23 win against Cuyahoga Falls at home Feb. 15. Defensive pressure limited Falls to just eight total field goals and held the Black Tigers to an 11-point first half.

Stow-Munroe Falls (20-3) also went 13-1 in the league.

Head coach Julie Solis was excited to win a game to gain a share of the league championship and then a few days later notch a solid sectional win.

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Twinsburg used tenacious defense and sound offense to cruise to a 79-13 victory Feb. 18 over Cleveland John F. Kennedy (6-12), the 11th seed overall.

"Our goal was just to play hard for the entire game," said Solis. "We didn't want the kids walking the ball up the floor and we wanted the kids running out of huddles."

"Intensity is key and there have been times that we haven't always had it for all four quarters."

Second-seed Twinsburg advanced to a sectional final at home Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. against eight-seeded Cleveland John Hay.

Hay has some standout athletes and have gone 17-5 this winter. All-District as a freshman, 5-foot-5 Laurena Tere is one of the top sophomore guards in the entire area. Another threat is center Angel Cannon and guard Devan Bolden as Hay returns four starters from a 16-8 unit.

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"John Hay is pretty good and we have to play our game, and just play one game at a time," said Solis.

The district semifinals are set for Feb. 27 at Euclid at 7:45 p.m. Twinsburg would face the winner between Shaker Heights and Bedford, the fourth and fifth seeds, respectively.

"Bedford and Shaker is tough to say, but I do know Shaker didn't have their best player," said Solis.

In the first-round win over JFK, Twinsburg's defense forced 41 total turnovers as Solis eased of early full court pressure that saw the Tigers sizzle to a 29-2 first period.

Everyone shared ball and showed focus on both ends. Twinsburg passed off often in transition as the lead ballooned to 51-4 at the half, opting Solis to play everyone as a host of underclassmen shined with the extra minutes.

It was balanced for the Tigers as team ran their sets. Senior forward Dasja Anderson led the locals with 15 points.

Anderson was outstanding as she hit one 3-pointer, hauled down four rebounds, and dished out three assists in limited play.

Senior forward Jasmine Bishop showed her wide skill set in the win as she netted 13 points, including two triples.

Having a strong floor game was senior guards Shaundrea Butler and Jailyn Reid. Butler had eight points, five steals, and three feeds while Reid added seven points, five thefts, and four assists.

Also playing well was junior forward Brittany Jolly, who had eight, four steals, four boards, and one block off of the bench.

Other standouts of the Tiger bench were junior forward Trinity Carthen (seven points), freshman wing Alana Ellis (seven points, four thefts, and two assists), sophomore forward Kyndall Hill, and sophomore wing Briana Jones.

Hill and Jones were impressive against the Eagles.

Hill, using solid post-up moves, had five points and nine rebounds in the second half.

Jones is a versatile 5-foot-10 athlete who sparked Twinsburg with three points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block. Sophomore Nya Bussey had two points, five steals, and four assists.

Senior Sydney Washington played well and added a rebound while sophomore point guard Brittany Williams also hit a 3-pointer along with Jones. Eight different Tigers had an assist in the win.

Ellis had a big outing against Falls (13-11, 4-10) as the youngster put in 14 points for the Lady Tigers. Earlier in the winter, the Black Tigers gave the Tigers a test in a 56-48 Twinsburg win.

This time around, Bishop netted 13 points and Anderson scored 11 points to lead Twinsburg.

Solis liked the showing by the Tiger's two vets -- Bishop and Anderson -- who each are averaging over 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds a game this year.

Reid added five points, Carthen scored four points, plus Hill and Jolly each added a free throw for the Tigers. Kayla Huffman scored 11 for Falls.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

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