A sizzling long-range shooting performance by Chagrin Falls didn’t allow the Woodridge girls basketball team a chance to get in any rhythm.
However, some young talent did surface for the Bulldogs in the loss against a quality foe.
Defensive pressure by the experienced Tigers shattered offensive flow for Woodridge, but incredibly hot shooting beyond the 3-point arc sealed a 62-24 loss in a tough non-league road journey to Chagrin.
Stung by a whopping nine triples, Woodridge could not keep pace with Chagrin.
Teams with powerful backcourts and a hot shooting perimeter touch are hard to beat as Chagrin (6-3) has a dynamic guard corps and returns all five starters from a 17-win club last year.
"They [Chagrin] had the same team as last year and have experience, but our girls gave a great effort, and continued to play hard," said Bulldog head coach Chris Nauer.
One of the largest bright spots in the loss was Woodridge freshman Leah Mencer.
Mencer, a quick and athletic prospect, exploded for a career high three 3-pointers and a career-best 12 points after starting this season leading the junior varsity team.
"Leah is getting some varsity minutes and is really playing well," said Nauer.
Getting more varsity time, the promising Mencer has excelled on the JV unit this season.
Mencer can play both guard spots, can shoot, and can be used in a lead guard role. She also can handle the basketball.
"She is a true point guard who can create and see the floor well," Nauer said. "She can find girls on the break and has a good basketball IQ."
"I think that Leah can find some shooters on the wings, like Bella Owen or Emma Francis," added Nauer. "She will help us when we use our four-guard sets later this season."
Even with Mencer and some battle-tested Bulldogs, Chagrin was just too much in this outing.
The Tigers forced early turnovers and had some easy buckets, coupled with making their first three shots from 3-point range.
All of that led to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter and a 31-7 blitz at halftime.
Guards Carolyn Bencko and Bella Dalessandro did all the work from the arc, scoring game highs of 20 and 15 points, respectively.
Led by Bencko, they combined to go 9-for-15 from behind the arc. Bencko buried six triples.
Bencko was a third team All-District player a year ago while Dalessandro was special mention All-Ohio in 2018. Guard Peyton Gellin added seven points.
Turnovers hurt the Bulldogs (4-5), who were paced by Mencer, who had little scoring help.
Senior forward Libby Howard added three points as did freshman guard Anna Rorrer.
Maddi Randall, a senior guard, junior Olivia Woods, and sophomore Izzy Best each had two points. Woodridge was 9-19 at the free throw line.
In upcoming action, Woodridge plays at Norton and at Lodi Cloverleaf Jan.11. The Bulldogs are 2-3 in the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division.