Barberton hung around all night, but they were no match for Copley on this night as the Indians, led by sophomore center Megan Preston, held the lead virtually wire-to-wire for the victory.



 



“We made some key plays at opportune times,” Copley head coach Darryl Anderson, Sr. said.



 



Much of the first half, particularly in the first quarter, both teams were poised to push the tempo and gain the early momentum.



 



“You have to give Barberton credit,” Anderson Sr. said.  “They kept making runs and runs and just wouldn’t go away and didn’t quit.”



 



The Indians and Magics traded shot-for-shot in the first as Copley took the lead 9-7 to end the quarter.  



 



Megan Preston scored in the quarter for Copley, and freshman guard Macey Chik added a big three point shot for Barberton.



 



Despite some inexperienced younger players and 28 total turnovers, Copley was able to keep the pressure on Barberton just enough to pull it out.



 



“I told them if they would just take care of the ball and finish their free throws, we can win,” Anderson, Sr. said.



 



Copley didn’t waste any time building on its lead.  The Indians went on an 8-2 scoring run to begin the second quarter, which put them up 17-9, and they never looked back.



 



“When we get down, it makes it very hard for us to comeback because it means we aren’t taking care of the ball or missing box outs,” Barberton head coach Kevin Pletcher said.



 



The Magics would battle back behind inspired effort by senior guards Katie Wright and Harley Berlesky.  Both were able to hit open shots helping the team establish a better rhythm on offense.



 



Barberton closed the gap to end the first half, but Copley still held a 23-18.



 



Preston took over for the Indians in the third quarter.  Just as Barberton erased a 30-22 Copley lead when Wright and Chik hit back-to-back three pointers, Preston quickly responded.



 



She went on a 7-0 scoring run by herself to give Copley a 39-32 lead at the end of the third.



 



Pletcher said the defense didn’t do a very good job of helping and recovering on Preston.



Anderson Sr. said “the sky is the limit” in reference to Preston who is only a sophomore but already playing at a high level.



 



“They were able to seal over the top and get nice looks,” he said.  She is very talented, and if we can just take the ball and get it inside and work our offense, she is a tough match up.”



 



It seemed as if Barberton was going to complete the comeback as sophomore guard Heather Sykes scored on a transition lay-up to close the gap to 47-43 with just three minutes to play.



 



But Copley seemed to match them on almost each possession with a made basket down the stretch to hold off the comeback attempt.



 



Pletcher said his team can’t be hesitate on offense moving forward.



 



“We need to be able to take care of the ball and run an offense,” he said.  “That is the bottom line.”