AURORA — It won’t be for all the marbles this time.
However, the much anticipated rematch is now official.
Both the Aurora and Stow-Munroe Falls girls basketball teams won sectional titles Thursday on their respective home floors.
The third-seeded Greenmen cruised past sixth-seeded Warren Howland 53-34 and the second-seeded Bulldogs got a bit of a scare against 10th-seeded Massillon Perry before prevailing with a 39-32 victory.
The two Suburban League crossover rivals are scheduled to play in a Division I district semifinal game Tuesday at Ravenna High School’s James L. Coll Gymnasium. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
When the two teams met in last year’s district title game, Aurora (17-6) escaped with a 51-48 win to reach the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history.
Stow got a little bit of payback when it defeated the Greenmen 47-35 earlier in the season. Pardon the Bulldogs if they’re more stoked about the upcoming sequel than they are about the original film.
Fortunately for Stow, its friends from Portage County didn’t turn out to be a box-office flop.
Aurora gradually mastered the Tigers’ tricky 1-2-2 defense with a dominant second-half performance.
The Greenmen ended the third quarter with a 16-9 run and then put matters to rest with a backbreaking 13-2 spurt to open the fourth.
"They have a lot of length," Aurora head coach Erika Greenberg said of the Tigers. "They packed it in. It was kind of hard for us to function around the rim. It did force us to take more outside shots than maybe we wanted to."
Thanks to its zone, Howland (12-12) forced the Greenmen to take a plethora of perimeter shots, mainly from long range.
There was one small problem with the Tigers’ strategy: Aurora converted quite a few of those shots.
The Greenmen swished 10 3-pointers and made the extra pass time and time again throughout the evening.
"We made some adjustments at halftime and I think in the second half, that helped us in getting some more ball movement," Greenberg said.
Sophomore guard Ava Ryncarz, who has emerged as a formidable offensive force in recent weeks, thanks to her sweet-shooting touch, finished with a game-high 16 points. Twelve of those points came from long range as Ryncarz knocked down four 3-pointers.
"She is a good shooter," Greenberg said of Ryncarz. "Shyanne [Sellers] helps them out a lot by distributing. When she [Sellers] drives, she draws so much attention. She can dish and create for other people."
Sophomore guard Mika Dalton, who also has become a major threat from the perimeter, added a trio of 3-pointers on her way to 11 points.
However, as always, everything Aurora accomplishes begins and ends with its All-Ohio superstar.
The one-of-a-kind Sellers didn’t have a particularly fantastic shooting night. Nevertheless, the gifted junior point guard made things happen all over the place with her endless array of skills.
She scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out eight assists and also had two steals. One of those forced turnovers led to a buzzer-beating layup to end the first quarter.
Not to mention, Sellers also blocked a pair of shots, including one from behind that thwarted a Howland fast break.
Such hardships were commonplace for the Tigers, who struggled to get their offense going throughout the evening.
Freshman Courtney Clark finished with a team-high nine points for Howland, which trailed 15-14 early in the second quarter. Aurora quickly recovered and wound up scoring the last seven points of the half.
While Greenberg will certainly take the win, a performance such as this one may not make the grade against the deep and talented Bulldogs.
Fortunately for the Greenmen, time is on their side. Thus, Aurora will make a certain basic tactic a significant priority in future practices.
It’s called passing.
"Our offense needs to be fine-tuned a little bit," Greenberg said. "We have to move the ball a little bit better."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_Gannett.