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Forcing the issue with up-tempo basketball, the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy girls squad nearly came back from an early deficit to beat Orrville.
A five-point second quarter made it tough for CVCA at Orrville as the hosts won 68-58 in the Principals Athletic Conference game Jan. 21.
Two 21-point outbursts in the third and fourth quarter, fueled by defensive pressure, put the Royals in a position to challenge. However, it was too little, too late.
CVCA fell to 7-9 overall and to 4-6 in the league.
"I think the five-point second quarter put us in a hole and like always, the girls battled back," explained head coach David Robinson. "We had some opportunities and missed some easy shots and free throws.
The Royals were only 9-of-25 at the free throw line.
Guards Anna Mitchell and Kaitlyn Judge each popped in 19 points for CVCA while Jada Wright had 11 points.
"Since Christmas, we have gradually been speeding things up on offense," noted Robinson, who also moved veteran guard Elisa Bartel to point guard.
"Our guards and wings have been active, and we were able to be disruptive in the second half on defense," he added. "That plays to our strength."
Bartel, who had six points, will have some weapon to distribute the ball to as Mitchell and Judge can bury 3-pointers and she can find Wright on the wing or in transition.
"Elisa does a great job on defense and on the boards, but she is great at pushing the ball for us, and find others attacking the basket," said the coach.
Grace Bevington also has contributed as she had three points against Orrville and poured in seven in a 73-50 league win Jan. 18.
"She (Bevington) has done a nice job taking the open shots and driving to the basket -- she lets the game come to her," said Robinson.
In the win over Manchester, CVCA had nine different players dent the scoring column with a season-high point total.
Judge exploded for 24 points and Mitchell put in 19. Wright netted 10 points.
Shania Crowley played well and had five points, Shatiera Wood had four, while Mitaya Collins, Bartel, and Autumn Foguth each added two points.
Robinson is concerned about his player rotation as Lauren Davis slightly injured her ankle. He expects her to return soon.
"I think our biggest thing is to continue to minimize mistakes and remain disciplined with the ball even though we speeding things up," the coach explained. "We also need to improve on the back boards."