It was getting to the point where Twinsburg’s coaching staff was wondering just what was going to happen next.
A new-look Tiger girls basketball squad had an even greener appearance when the hosts had to dig deep into the depth of the program in a 51-38 league loss to powerful Stow-Munroe Falls.
Interim head coach Russ Chappell, who is filling in for second-year head coach Jess Rader (who recently gave birth to her first child) had to confront even more adversity against a Bulldog squad that is tough to score on.
Using a few athletes new to varsity basketball, Twinsburg fought and showed some toughness against Stow (6-0), which moved to 4-0 in the Suburban League National Conference.
It was one thing to lose All-Ohio senior standout and scoring leader Alana Ellis in the second quarter to injury, but Twinsburg was without several other players for a club still working on gaining depth in its player rotation.
"The team worked extremely hard against Stow and we dealt with adversity all game long," said Chappell.
"We were missing two contributors in sisters Nighyah Carthen and Genesis Carthen, and then we lost Alana to an apparent knee injury," saud Chappell.
"Having one of our best defenders in Logan Pride in foul trouble, we were having to mix in sophomores Elliotte Schneeman and Makayla Bisicnki, and freshmen Sophie Adick, Alexis Cellura, and Lauren Glessman into the sub rotation."
For Twinsburg, these athletes had to mature in a hurry against a Stow unit that features impeccable defense, patience and discipline.
Showing resilience, Twinsburg trailed just 15-13 at the start of the second stanza and only was down 21-19 at the half.
In fact, the Tigers were down 33-26 heading into the final quarter and still in the hunt.
Chappell credited veterans like speedy guard Faith Gregory and forward Alex Walker with helping to ease the personnel losses.
"Senior leaders Faith Gregory and Alex Walker gave all they had to help their teammates compete with Stow in the second half, but in the end, the loss of an irreplaceable Alana Ellis proved too much to overcome," stressed the coach.
The Lady Tigers, 1-2 in the league, were set to have road league games at Nordonia Dec. 18 and at Brecksville Dec. 16, but final results weren’t available as of press time. The locals have a non-league clash at Strongsville Dec. 28.
Twinsburg’s staff does not have a status of Ellis.
The Tigers were led in scoring by junior guard Jada Austin, who finished with 13 points. Ellis had eight points as did Pride, a promising sophomore wing.
Gregory netted five points, Walker had two and Adick added two points. Austin and Gregory each made one 3-pointer in the loss.
Stow was led by forward Kira Philpot, who led all scorers with 17 points, and guard Lilee Carlson, who chipped in 14.