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by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
The Streetsboro girls basketball team continued to make significant progress in its latest showdown.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, they had no solution for stopping Cara Cook.
Thanks to Cook's game-high 36 points, Norton earned a 62-56 victory over Streetsboro Jan. 5 at Streetsboro High School.
With the win, the Lady Panthers improved to 10-1 overall and 6-0 in the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division. The Rockets fell to 2-9 overall and 1-5 in the division.
The Rockets scored more than 50 points for the second consecutive game. But Cook was simply too much to handle.
"Cara had a really good night," Streetsboro head coach Allison Carey said. "She's a very tough matchup.
"She's a guard who can shoot and she also can post up. She's very strong."
Despite the loss, Carey believes her team took another major step.
Remember, this is a team that has struggled to score throughout the season.
"We're starting to make the turn we've been for all season long," Carey said. "We've played well against two good teams. Chardon [a 66-53 loss Dec. 29] is a strong Division I team and Norton is one of the top teams in our division."
The Lady Panthers outscored Streetsboro 32-23 in the middle two quarters.
"We were down by five at the half and we were feeling pretty good," Carey said. "The third quarter has been our demise. They [the Lady Panthers] were able to make a run in the first five minutes. I told the girls we have to take control of the final three minutes. We did, but it was not enough."
Shania Williams and Megan Densmore led the Rockets with 12 points apiece and Shannon Blondeaux added 10 points for Streetsboro. Williams made 6-of-7 foul shots.
"If we can get three girls scoring in double figures and the other two starters get around eight points, we'll be OK," Carey said. "We're getting to the line and we're shooting better. If we shoot well, it helps open the game for the post players."
The Rockets are scheduled to visit Metro Division rivals Crestwood Jan. 9 and Springfield Jan. 12. Both varsity contests are set to begin at 7:30 p.m.
"The next two games should be winnable," Carey said. "It depends on who steps on the court. If the team that showed up in our last two games shows up, we have a chance to win both games."