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A consistent, not prolific, effort propelled the visiting Cuyahoga Falls Black Tigers over Kent Roosevelt by a final score of 51-42 Jan 17.
The victory followed a 66-50 home loss for Falls to North Royalton Jan. 13.
Falls record stood at 6-6, 2-4 in the Suburban League National Conference.
The game got off to a sloppy start, as each side struggled to get comfortable against the other. Cuyahoga Falls chose to employ a defensive press right off the bat, something that we have not seen from the Tigers this season.
"We haven't pressed all year," Black Tiger head coach Kenny Johnson. "This was really the first game that we picked it up from the full court. Our kids were active, I thought they played hard. We forced some turnovers and were able to score off some turnovers."
The first quarter of the game featured an abundance of miscues from both sides.
In all, the teams combined for 10 turnovers and 10 fouls, all in the first eight minutes of the match. The opening period would se the tone for what would prove to be a defensive battle, where points were at a premium.
Kent Roosevelt had difficulty cracking the Black Tiger defense. The Rough Riders failed to score more than 10 points in three of the four quarters, and didn't do themselves any favors by shooting just 37 percent from the free throw line.
Roosevelt's Jordan Barnes, the game's leading scorer, was forced to spend some early minutes on the bench after getting into foul trouble.
After taking a 26-19 lead into the halftime break, the Tigers looked to put the pedal to the metal and shut down any comeback hopes for the Rough Riders early on. Unfortunately, they weren't able to do so, and the hosts continued to creep around that 10-point mark for much of the second half.
"We told them at halftime we want to try and push this lead up to 15 or 16," said Johnson. "It never felt like it was super tight, but we were never really able to push it like we needed to."
Falls was led by 14 points from center Troy Tofil, while guard Ka'von Gainer added 11 points. Tofil helped Falls dominate the boards, as the BLack Tigers finished with a 40-20 rebounding edge.
Against North Royalton, neither team was on fire in the first half, as Falls trailed 10-7 after one quarter and 20-12 at halftime.
Both teams found their shooting stroke after halftime, but the Black Tigers could not narrow the gap.
Tofil led Falls with 17 points, while Gainer added 16.
However, North Royalton was led by 20 points from Max Glass. The Bears also got 18 points from Brandon Kyle and 11 from Evan Neczypor in the win.
Falls was set to travel to Twinsburg Jan. 20, but results were not available at press time.
The Black Tigers will travel to Tallmadge Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. before making the trek to National Conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m.