If sports can provide life lessons, than Saturday's game for the Cuyahoga Falls girls taught them the lesson of persistence.

Mary Messner had struggled all game, not hitting any of her shots. But the one she hit turned out to be the game-winner, as the Black Tigers improved to 3-12 overall with a 40-38 win at Ellet.

Messner's shot was an putback of an offensive rebound with eight seconds remaining in regulation.

"I think that was a first lead of the game or certainly first since the early minutes of the game," Falls coach Joe Nowak said. "Obviously, Mary was frustrated the while game. I said to her to just keep shooting and don't hesitate."

That was the big point -- don't change just because you are struggling and fight through it.

"What pleased me was the way we kept fighting back and not giving up. We only gave up one point in the fourth quarter as we trailed after the first and second quarter and going into the fourth quarter," Nowak said.

It was a big night for both Jasmine Eaker and Rosie Townsend as both came up with double-doubles.

Eaker scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Townsend had 10 points and hauled in 10 rebounds.

Coming off the bench, Hannah Johnson scored eight points, while Zoey Bosley, Messner, Savannah Selden and Alyssa Mondl each had two points.

As for the remainder of the regular season, Nowak thinks the team's improvement will show down the stretch.

"We are much better than we were at the start of the season. There are a lot of winnable games for us and defensively were cannot give up second chance baskets and we have to rebound," Nowak said.

A busy week awaits Falls. On Jan. 26, the Black Tigers were set to host Brush. Results were not available at press time.

On Jan. 28, Falls hosts Copley, followed by a trip to Barberton Jan. 31 and home game with Normandy Feb. 2.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442