By Anthony Alandt
CHAGRIN FALLS, OHIO – The Chagrin Falls lady Tigers defeated the Hawken Hawks 51-29 Wednesday night at Quisenberry Gymnasium.
Chagrin now moves to a 16-5 record overall on the season and picks up their 9th win in the Chagrin Valley Conference.
The Hawks came into tonight hoping to exit Chagrin High School with their 5th CVC win of the season, but were immediately aware that winning was going to be quite the challenge in this matchup.
The Tigers started off using a full court press that obviously caught the Hawks players off guard. Coach Brittany Anderson wanted to put a high level of pressure on Hawken from the get-go so her team could go up early and work on more fundamental play techniques.
Hawken wasn’t able to settle in offensively and was held to just 5 points in the first quarter by an ominous Chagrin defense. All first quarter points came at the hands of freshman Makayla White who finished the game with 9 points.
The first quarter ended with the Tigers up 17-5, led by junior Bella Dalessandro who finished the night with a game-high 15 points.
Hawken found much less comfort in the second quarter, as the Chagrin defenders continued to dominate the Hawks shooters.
While Chagrin was able to get 7 different players to score in the first half, Hawken was held to a single layup in the second quarter.
Chagrin used their passing talent to get all 7 girls to find the hoop at least once in the first two quarters. They also set up well thought-out plays on offense engineered by these crisp passes.
The two teams paused for halftime with Chagrin up 30-7. Chagrin’s Carolyn Bencko was able to add 12 points on the night to supplement Dalessandro’s 15.
The story that developed on the free throw line reflected why Hawken never really spent a second in control of this game.
The Hawks went for a combined 4-9 from the charity stripe, while the Tigers were able to snag 5 points in as many attempts from the line.
Sophomore Lily Karyo got half of her points from the free throw line, going 4-4 and finishing the night with 8 points to contribute.
Taylor Smith, one of Hawken’s five seniors, helped in any way she could and ended the night with a respectable 9 points.
Going into the fourth quarter, Chagrin had tripled Hawken’s point total and rode their 40-15 lead into a relaxed final eight minutes.
Hawken was able to find the hoop in garbage time with the hope of making the score look better than the game was, but it was an obvious example of too little too late.
Chagrin will look to finish their regular season on a high note as they face off against West Geauga on Saturday.
Hawken looks to find their 8th win of the season against fellow bottom-dweller Harvey on Saturday afternoon.