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Rootstown girls outlast Tallmadge 47-45

Rootstown, OH- Monday night the Tallmadge Blue Devils (2-3) invaded Rootstown to take on the Lady Rovers (6-1) who were looking to win their 5th straight game.

It was a sloppy low scoring start to this one. Tallmadge scored the first 5 points of the game before Rootstown got their first point with 4:42 to play as Nadia Lough split one of two free throws. Tallmadge led 7-2 before Lough ended the quarter with a personal 5-0 run on a steal and layup followed by a three. The Rovers took a 9-7 lead after one.

Tallmadge regained control in the second quarter. After going back and forth with tie scores, Blue Devils forward Lexi Gray scored five straight points putting Tallmadge up 17-12 with 2:05 to play in the half. After a pair of free throws by the Rovers Brooklynn McIntyre, Blue Devils guard Sydney Becks scored an and-one and converted the free throw. Lough hit 1 of 2 free throws to close out the first half scoring as Tallmadge took a 20-15 lead into the half.

Both teams ramped up the offense in quarter three. Rootstown started the 3rd on a quick 5-0 run after a three by Lough and a made shot by Melanie Plecko that tied the game at 20. The Blue Devils answered right back as Abby Caruso scored five straight points to take a 5 point lead. The teams went back and forth again exchanging baskets and pulling even late into the quarter. The Rovers outscored Tallmadge 18-14 in the quarter but trailed 34-33 heading to the fourth.

After Caruso hit 1 of 2 free throws to start the final quarter, Lough hit a big 3 giving Rootstown a 36-35 lead. The teams exchanged one point leads for a few minutes before Lindsay Smith hit a three for the Rovers putting them up 41-37 with 3:40 to play. It looked like Rootstown might put the game away after a Lough bucket put them up by 6 at 45-39 with just over two minutes to play. But the Lady Blue Devils would not go away quietly. They put in four straight free throws after two Rover fouls that cut the deficit to 45-43 with 1:23 to play. Brooklynn McIntyre hit a big shot for the Rovers putting them up 47-43 with 57 seconds to play. At the other end Lexi Gray was fouled by the Rovers and calmly hit two free throws to make it 47-45 with 35 seconds to play. Rootstown then suffered a critical turnover with a traveling call on Smith leaving Tallmadge with the ball and 11.4 seconds remaining in the game. The Blue Devils had a chance to tie or win with a three but were not able to convert and the Lady Rovers came away with a hard fought 47-45 win.

Nadia Lough led all scorers for the Rovers with 24 points as well as some stellar defense. Lindsay Smith chipped in 8 points.

Lexi Gray dropped 19 for the Lady Blue Devils in a losing effort.

I had a chance to speak with both Rovers assistance coach Joe Leonard and forward Nadia Lough.

This game recap is brought to you by Daystar Ford


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