For the fourth straight season, the Cuyahoga Falls girls basketball team won its postseason opener.
The Black Tigers’ latest postseason victory came by a 46-33 score over visiting 12th-seeded Youngstown Boardman Feb. 15 in a Division I sectional semifinal as part of the Ravenna district.
Cuyahoga Falls, the No. 5 seed, improved to 14-9 on the season. The Black Tigers’ 14 wins are the program’s most in at least 15 years.
Last year, Cuyahoga Falls defeated Hudson in a sectional semifinal before bowing to eventual regional semifinalist Aurora.
In the win over Boardman, Cuyahoga Falls jumped out to a 14-4 lead after one quarter. The Black Tigers led 25-12 at halftime and 38-23 after three quarters.
"I thought we had a couple really good days of practice and preparation, and our ability to execute our game plan was as good as it has been all year," Cuyahoga Falls head coach Joe Nowak said. "In recent games, we also have been struggling to score, so to be able to jump out to a 10-point lead after the first quarter gave us momentum throughout the first half."
The Spartans cut their deficit to six points midway through the fourth quarter, but they could get no closer as the Black Tigers iced the game at the free-throw line.
"All year long, we’ve been able to face adversity and overcome it," said Nowak. "You knew Boardman was going to make a run, but I thought we maintained our composure and did a great job of executing down the stretch."
Senior guard/forward Chelsea Huffman led the way for Cuyahoga Falls with 18 points and two rebounds.
Senior guard/forward Raygan Corrigall scored 11 points, while senior forward Olivia Lemmon had six points and 10 rebounds.
Junior forward Emma Brustoski scored five points and had four boards. With three points apiece were sophomore guards Jenna Roberts and Laila Smith.
Cuyahoga Falls is scheduled to play at fourth-seeded Canfield in a sectional semifinal Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.
Canfield defeated 13th-seeded Kent Roosevelt 61-28 Feb. 15 in a sectional semifinal.
If the Black Tigers win, they will oppose the winner of top-seeded Warren G. Harding and ninth-seeded Hudson in a district semifinal Feb. 25 at Ravenna.
"Coach [Matt] Reels’ team is always disciplined on both ends of the floor, and we’re going to have to play well from the start," said Nowak regarding Canfield. "Our players are excited, though, for the challenge ahead. We’ve had a good week of practice, and it’s an opportunity to meet one of our initial goals from the start of the season, making it to the district tournament."