The Bulldogs took control of the game, outscoring the Rough Riders 24-2 during the 11-minute stretch.
"We started to switch our defense back and fourth between a little zone and man-to-man, and I think that was what turned the game around," said Stow coach Bob Podges. "Playing defense is what we do best. We spend a lot of time practicing defense. One of the nice things about our team is that we use 10 or 11 kids every night, and I think that wears down an opponent."
Stow opened the game in a shooting funk that had carried over from a disappointing loss to Kenston Tuesday. After making just 8-of-26 field-goal attempts in the first half, the Bulldogs hit 8-of-11 shots when they grabbed command in the third quarter.
Freshman guard Kristi Zeller and senior guard Terra Johnson each made 3-pointers from the left wing in the opening three minutes of the second half as the Bulldogs scored 10 straight points in a 16-3 run that extended their lead to 35-18.
Zeller led all scorers with 18 points, including nine in the decisive third quarter. Stow also received a lift from senior forward Julie Garner, who came off the bench to score eight points and pull down 12 rebounds.
Roosevelt was paced by senior guard Meghan Sandor, who scored 13 points, including a pair of 3-pointers to halt Stow runs. Sandor's first 3-pointer closed the first quarter and gave Roosevelt its early 13-10 advantage after Stow had scored six straight points to pull into a 10-10 tie.
"We started off pretty well," said Kent Roosevelt coach Cameron Black. "Our gameplan was to get the ball inside. We wanted to penetrate, take the ball to the basket and get to the free-throw line."
That strategy paid off early as the Rough Riders made four layups in building their first-quarter lead. Junior center Kelly Yahner (7 points, 6 rebounds) played a big role in Roosevelt's early success, hitting a pair of layups, including one three-point play to cap a string of six consecutive points by the Rough Riders.
According to Black, the disappointment was the team's inability to stay with the gameplan.
"We started having mental breakdowns, and then we didn't respond to the challenge when we got down," said Black. "We got away from the gameplan, and we were never able to recover."
"We can still take some positives from this game. We'll take the fact that we still have the ability to make a run at some people. We just have to put together four quarters and stay mentally in tune to what we are trying to do."
Phone: (330) 678-5460
Stow 51, Kent Roosevelt 39
(At Kent Roosevelt)
STOW (51) _ Kristi Zeller 7 2-2 18; Zara Doolittle 1 0-0 2; Rebekah Spoerndle 1 0-2 2; Rachel Fink 1 0-0 2; Terra Johnson 3 1-2 8; Kathleen Miller 2 0-0 4; Julie Garner 3 2-4 8; Jen Rocco 0 0-0 0; Ellen Boyer 1 0-0 2; Abby Hess 1 0-0 2; Ashley Conwell 1 0-0 3; Sarah Berkey 0 0-0 0; Diane Biggins 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 5-10 51.
KENT ROOSEVELT (39) _ Caitlin Carroll 2 3-4 7; Courtney Banks 1 0-0 2; Maya Gilbert 0 2-4 2; Meghan Sandor 4 3-4 13; Kelly Yahner 3 1-1 7; Deidra LaFollette 1 0-0 2; Heather Meyers 0 0-2 0; Alexis Johnson 0 6-6 6. Totals 11 15-21 39.
Three-Point Goals _ Stow (4-10): Zeller 2-4, Conwell 1-1, Johnson 1-2, Spoerndle 0-3. Kent Roosevelt (2-5): Sandor 2-3, Gilbert 0-1, Johnson 0-1.
Total Rebounds _ Stow, 41-38
Total Turnovers _ Stow, 17-16
Total Fouls _ Stow, 17-10
JV Score _ Stow, 38-36. Leading Scorers: (KR) Lindsay Hostler, 14 points; (S) Abby Hess, 12 points.