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by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Streetsboro -- The shots actually fell in the hoop for a change.
And more importantly, they remained competitive against a quality team.
In the end, though, the Rockets didn't finish 2012 the way they would have preferred.
But maybe, just maybe there is some hope for the Streetsboro girls basketball team.
The host Rockets fell to 2-8 on the season after losing a 66-53 decision to Chardon Dec. 29. With the win, the Hilltoppers improved to 7-2.
The game was tied at 31 after two quarters before Chardon pulled away in the second half.
Nevertheless, Streetsboro head coach Allison Carey liked what she saw.
"I told the girls no loss is a good loss," she said. "But we hung with a very good Division I team the majority of the time. We came out ready to play. We're hoping to use this as a springboard for conference play in the second half of the season."
The Rockets still have some issues.
They struggled to get the ball past midcourt on a number of occasions and although it was an improvement from previous games, Streetsboro still had a difficult time at the free throw line. The Rockets converted just 10-of-19 foul shots. The Hilltoppers made 20-of-32.
And the third quarter looked eerily familiar to Streetsboro fans.
Chardon scored the first six points of the second half and built its lead to double digits late in the period. The Hilltoppers outscored the Rockets 23-11 lead to take a 53-42 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
"The third quarter has been our demise all year," Carey said.
While it held its own on the boards, Streetsboro simply couldn't overcome its turnover issues. The Rockets committed 35 turnovers on the evening, which led to a number of wide-open layups on the other end.
Chardon sophomore guard Kahrin Spear got most of the buckets and shared game-high honors with 21 points. Teammate Lindsey Lyons, a junior guard, also had 21 points.
Senior post player Taylor Wawrowski added 10 points for the Hilltoppers.
Streetsboro's bread and butter throughout the season has been its inside game. That didn't change Dec. 29.
Junior forward Marra Woods came off the bench to score 14 points and sophomore forward Allison Targosky added eight points. Guard Shannon Blondeaux finished with eight points as eight Rockets scored at least two points.
Such offensive production has been a rare sight for Streetsboro fans. In fact, it might have been a first in Carey's tenure.
"I don't remember us ever scoring 53 points in a game," she said.
The Rockets earned a 36-33 win in the junior varsity game.
Brooke Bolyard led Streetsboro with 11 points.
The varsity team is scheduled to host Portage Trail Conference Metro Division rival Norton Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m.