Looking to rebound after a rugged portion of the schedule, the Twinsburg girls basketball team needed to get that extra little bounce back in its step.
Snapping a four-game losing streak, Twinsburg did so on the road, holding off a fierce fourth-quarter charge by Barberton in a 52-50 non-league win Thursday.
Although host Barberton nearly pulled off a comeback win thanks to a 13-0 spurt in a wild fourth stanza, it was a good win for Twinsburg. Both clubs moved to 4-4.
When superlative sophomore guard Alana Ellis got a bucket with around 5:00 left, it put the Lady Tigers up 50-37.
Twinsburg was leading comfortably when Barberton came back.
Learning how to win close games is another key for the Tigers, under first year mentor Jess Mazanetz.
Twinsburg was set to face Nordonia Sunday at the Garfield Heights Holiday Showcase.
"They (the Magics) turned up on their pressure and created some turnovers on our end, but you have to give Barberton credit," said Mazanetz.
Ellis, a 6-0 wing, pumped in a season high 29 points at Barberton as she drained four 3-pointers in the victory in the cross division Suburban League clash.
The sharp shooting Ellis helped Twinsburg fire back after being down 13-9 in the first period.
"That was a season-high for Alana and it was much needed," explained Mazanetz.
"She (Ellis) had been in a cold shooting spell, and this helped her confidence," added the coach. "She played a bit more inside, but her shot was much better and she has been working on it pretty hard."
A 21-10 second period put Twinsburg up 30-23 as Twinsburg junior guard Faith Gregory exploded for seven points in the second period alone.
Gregory hit a 3-pointer, a pair of free throws, and had another bucket in the second.
"I thought that Faith (Gregory) had a great game with her scoring, but she actually has been really helping with good defensive pressure as well," stressed Mazanetz.
Senior point guard Brittany Williams added eight points for the Lady Tigers against the Magics. Williams buried a 3-point shot in the victory.
Kyndall Hill, a senior post, had some big moments in the win. She had five points, and senior guard Jada Austin added a triple for the Tigers.
Mazanetz had to have Ellis work more in the paint as senior forward Bri Jones went down with an injury early in the second period. Jones had some aggravation from her knee, but is expected to be fine.
"Bri should be back and it was a tough loss because it messed up our (player) rotation, and Alana had to play more inside to help," pointed out the coach.
Barberton was led by guard Sophie Shifferly, who had team highs of 12 points and eight rebounds for the Magics.
Center LaNysha Prewitt scored 10 points and post Laney Kaisk added two points and eight caroms for Barberton.
Twinsburg plays a non-league game at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary Wednesday
In Suburban League National Conference action, Twinsburg has home contests against Hudson Jan. 9 and Cuyahoga Falls Jan. 12.