by Colin Harris | Reporter
Streetsboro -- The iron was certainly unkind to both teams Jan. 11, but it was the Streetsboro girls basketball team that ultimately found a way to score just enough points.
The host Rockets held on down the stretch, thanks in no small part to Rootstown's inability to hit free throws, to capture an important 42-41 Portage Trail Conference County Division victory.
The Lady Rovers shot a paltry 2 for 14 from the foul line and a normally capable group of outside shooters managed just a 1-for-19 effort from three-point range.
That's not to say Streetsboro (9-5, 4-3) was anything special from the stripe, finishing just 9 of 23 from the foul line, including 2 for 7 during the fourth quarter. But a win was certainly a win for Rockets head coach Allison Carey.
"I think the team is trying to kill me," she said. "I told them after the game that the basketball gods must be smiling on us. I think that it's a sign that we're a team. We were in a position to need to hit our shots because we've been losing in previous years."
Streetsboro led from wire to wire during the game, but Rootstown (5-6, 2-4) managed to make things interesting in the final minutes of regulation.
Trailing 40-34 at the midway point of the fourth quarter, Casey Miracle cut into the Rockets' lead with a bucket.
Teammate Cayanne Breznak followed, hitting 1 of 2 shots at the foul line to narrow Streetsboro's advantage to just 40-37.
Rockets forward Alison Targosky answered with a pair of successful foul shots, but Breznak forced a turnover and converted it into points to make it a 42-39 game with just 1 minute, 30 seconds remaining in the game.
With 39 seconds left, the Lady Rovers' defensive pressure forced a crucial turnover.
With the clock ticking, Rootstown guard Monique Jackson attempted to penetrate, but she missed her layup attempt. Breznak was there to pick up the mess, however, drawing an and-one opportunity with 21 seconds remaining.
While Breznak made her putback basket, the forward missed the foul shot that would have tied the game for the first time in regulation.
Targosky led the Rockets with a team-high 12 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Teammate Marra Woods added seven points and 12 boards in the winning effort.
Breznak led the way for the Lady Rovers, finishing with a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds. Miracle added 13 points and seven rebounds for Rootstown.
Streetsboro had a much easier time two days earlier.
The host Rockets posted a commanding 56-25 victory over Waterloo in County Division play Jan. 9.
Streetsboro led 36-11 at halftime. A total of 13 players scored for the Rockets. Targosky led the way with 13 points.
The Rockets are scheduled to entertain County Division rival Southeast Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
They are set to host Akron East Jan. 18 at 2:30 p.m. before heading to Mogadore for a County Division showdown Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Facebook: Colin Harris, Record-Courier