The host Tallmadge wheelchair basketball team continued its stellar season with a convincing 45-29 victory over Plain Township GlenOak Wednesday at James O. Maddox Court.
The Blue Devils (11-2) outscored the Golden Eagles 23-11 in the second half.
"The crowd was unbelievable," Tallmadge head coach Thomas Linder said. "We draw a lot of people to our games and I love it when the kids come out to support their classmates. They make signs, they cheer and when the game is over they swarm their friends. It's pretty cool to see."
Linder also lauded his team’s opponent, which never seems to make it easy for Tallmadge.
"We love playing GlenOak because the games are so competitive," he said. "Our kids have so much respect for each other. It brings out the best in both our programs."
Leading 19-17, Isaiah Johnson took the inbound pass, wheeled down the court before launching a shot from six feet behind the 3-point line that found nothing but net just as the first-half buzzer sounded.
"Isaiah texted me the night before the game and asked if he could wear No. 24 in the game in honor of Kobe Bryant [who died in a helicopter crash Sunday], who was his favorite NBA player," Linder said. "I thought it would be a great idea. I realized later that Emma Allen already wore No. 24 and asked her if she would be OK if Isaiah wore it for one night. She was all for it.
"I am so proud of both those young people. When Isaiah hit that shot, he had such a look of pride on his face as he came to the bench, 'I told him that was definitely a Mamba moment.’"
Johnson led the Blue Devils with 21 points and eight assists and Brennan Heavilin also had a strong game with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Cerafina Currey, Sammy Blatt, Courtney Kirsch and Kayden Ramser each scored two points for Tallmadge, which had all of 11 its athletes play several minutes.