CUYAHOGA FALLS — For a quarter and a half, it looked like Cuyahoga Falls girls basketball team finally would play a competitive game with nemesis Stow.
Falls was stealing balls, competing for rebounds and trailing only by five midway through the second quarter.
Then Stow hit the accelerator and left the Black Tigers in the dust en route its ninth consecutive win.
Stow got its transition game working and ran out to a 76-37 Suburban League National Conference win at the Tom Jones Court in Cuyahoga Falls.
Stow coach Bob Podges said the Bulldogs (13-2, 9-1) took about a quarter to get in sync.
“We had way too many turnovers in the first quarter,” Podges said. “We’re becoming a much more dynamic offensive team. I have to tell myself, if we’re going to run more, I’ve got to accept more sloppy play. It’s not easy.”
“I would say, in that second quarter stretch, we had couple possessions where we didn’t score or turned the ball over,” Falls coach Joe Nowak said. “Really good teams will capitalize on that.”
Stow was stymied early by turnovers, so Podges turned to an unlikely source for a spark: Sophomore guard Ellie McCoy, who scored four points, grabbed three rebound and had two steals in limited time to give the Bulldogs just what they needed.
Stow took a 20-10 lead after one quarter, but then got hit with a dose of its own medicine.
Falls point guard Kayla Ramirez and guard Chelsea Huffman got some steals early in the second quarter, and a 3-pointer by Huffman pulled the Black Tigers (9-8, 4-6) to within 24-19 with just under four minutes left in the first half.
That’s when Stow hit the gas.
The Bulldogs ended the half on a 13-2 run, keyed by great defense by Emily Andrassy and forward Kira “Wrecker” Philpot.
Andrassy led the break for Stow most of the night, finishing with 12 points and six steals, and Philpot picked up the scraps all night to finish with 10 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
Up 37-21 at halftime, Stow erased all doubt by outscoring Falls in the third quarter 20-3.
Stow point guard Lexi Petit set the tone by hitting a 3-pointer to start the quarter, and scored 10 of her game-high 16 points in the third quarter.
Stow’s defense keyed on Huffman, who has averaged more than 30 points per game this month. Podges challenged sophomore guard Lilee Carlson to hold Huffman under 15 points — an she did just that, as Huffman finished with a team-high 12 point.
“Lilee did a great job on her,” Podges said. “A couple times, [Huffman] got baskets on broken plays, but Lilee stayed with her all night.”
Carlson was the lone Stow starter who didn’t score in double figures, but she finished with five points, five rebounds and two steals.
Forward Lizzy Stefanov added 11 points, and Falls guard Raygan Corrigall scored eight points.