Dexter leads Tallmadge girls basketball past Manchester

Roger Gordon
Correspondent

Sophomore guard/forward Maya Dexter had a huge day on Senior Day Jan. 16 as the Tallmadge girls basketball team defeated visiting Akron Manchester 51-40. She scored 21 points.

“Maya was driving aggressively to the basket all game long,” Blue Devils head coach Joe Leonard said. “She had good contributions each quarter offensively, and she was clutch from the foul line in the fourth quarter, going 5-for-5.”

On Jan. 20, Tallmadge lost 42-19 at Suburban League crossover rival Cuyahoga Falls to drop to 2-5 on the season.

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In the win over Manchester the Blue Devils led 11-8 after one quarter, 24-17 at halftime and 36-22 after three quarters.

“We were up as many as 14 points in the third quarter, but early in the fourth quarter Manchester cut it to two points,” said Leonard. “But then we made some adjustments defensively. I thought offensively we played probably our best game of the season with pretty balanced scoring.”

Sophomore forward Natalie Ries scored 10 points.

“Natalie scored a few baskets in the first half against Manchester’s zone defense, which really set the tempo for us offensively,” Leonard said. “She had one of her better games.”

In the loss to Cuyahoga Falls, Tallmadge trailed 11-5 after the first quarter, 17-9 at the half and 27-14 after the third quarter.

“I thought defensively, especially in the first half, we played very well, well enough to be in the game,” the coach said. “We knew what Cuyahoga Falls was going to run in its half-court offense.

“We struggled, though, when it came to turnovers. We had 23. Defensively, Cuyahoga Falls is very good, and they got a lot of breakaway layups. Offensively, we just could not put anything together. We had a big size advantage with Addie Bowman, our 6-foot-3 junior center, but we just could not get the ball into the post. Cuyahoga Falls did a nice job of fronting the post. Our guards had a hard time entering the ball into the post. It was a problem all night.”

Dexter scored seven points and Ries had four points.

Tallmadge was scheduled to play both at American Conference rival Kent Roosevelt Jan. 23 at 2:30 p.m. and at Streetsboro Jan. 25 at 7 p.m.

The Blue Devils are set to host Kent Roosevelt in a rematch Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. before traveling to conference rival Copley Jan. 30 at 2:30 p.m.