Using defense to create offense and getting out in transition, the Cuyahoga Falls girls basketball team regained its momentum with a non-league road win.
Falls won 53-27 by forcing 34 turnovers Saturday in a non-league win at Akron Ellet.
Another bright spot was the fact that the Black Tigers committed just 12 turnovers in the victory while they has been active on the road in non-league play.
It was a strong rebound road victory after a tough first half led to a tough 60-45 non-league loss at Uniontown Lake Dec. 19.
Thanks to a 24-4 first quarter in which the Black Tigers forced the tempo, Falls had a commanding 31-10 lead at halftime over Ellet.
Junior guard Chelsea Huffman was outstanding for the Black Tigers at Ellet as she pumped in a game-high 21 points, including a trio of 3-point bombs.
Huffman poured in 16 points alone in the first quarter. She also snagged six rebounds in the victory.
"Chelsea was big in the first quarter and that was the best stretch offensively I have seen her play, and she is approaching 700 points in her career," said Falls head coach Joe Nowak of his standout player.
"As a team, we regained some momentum we had and Chelsea scored in a variety of ways, and she also does a great job of helping to put others in a position to score and to be successful," said Nowak.
On the year, Huffman is averaging 17 points a game to go with eight rebounds, two steals and two assists per game.
"Chelsea also helped on defense, and our team defense was great at Ellet, as we only pressed full court in the first period," said Nowak. "Our defensive pressure is an important thing for us."
Continuing to show her versatility, senior forward Alivia Hamric had a solid game with nine points, four boards and loads of energy to go with a 3-point bucket.
Junior guard-forward Raygan Corrigall nailed a pair of 3-pointers and finished with eight points for Falls.
"Hamric and Corrigall also played well, and Corrigall really shot well," noted Nowak. "Players feed off of Huffman’s play and Chelsea is a catalyst."
Helping on the boards was junior center Olivia Lemmon, who had four points, along with sophomore wing Emma Brustoski. Unselfish junior point guard Kayla Ramirez also hit a trey.
Senior guard Kelsey Mayes chipped in two points for Falls as did sophomore guard Kayla Brown. That was Brown’s first career basket.
Demonstrating unselfish team play, Falls had four different athletes with three assists in the win.
Ramirez, Corrigall and Huffman each dished out three assists while the 6-0 Lemmon had three feeds, passing well out of the post.
Ellet (4-6) was led by Alyssa Martin, a 6-1 forward who had team highs of 12 points and seven rebounds.
Falls is 5-4 overall prior to two games at the Walsh Jesuit Holiday Classic.
The Black Tigers managed only 14 points in the first half of the setback at Lake (3-5), which competes in the loaded Federal League and has faced a strong schedule.
Despite the loss, Huffman canned three 3-pointers and had 19 points.
Corrigall put in nine points for Falls while Lemmon had four points and nine caroms.
Ramirez sparked the Black Tigers with four points and five steals. Scoring five points was Hamric while Brustoski added four points.
In Suburban League play, Falls visits North Royalton Jan. 5 at 2:30 p.m. The Black Tigers are 2-3 in the Suburban League National Conference. Falls hosts Stow-Munroe Falls Jan. 9 at 7 p.m.