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The Crestwood Red Devils opened their girls basketball season by securing a 43-40 overtime victory against the Rootstown Rovers in a cross-division matchup Saturday night.
The Red Devils trailed the Rovers the entire game. Going into the third and fourth quarters they faced a deficit of nine points. However, led by sophomore guard Holly Hoffman Crestwood managed to gain momentum and turn the game around in the fourth quarter.
Holly Hoffman is tenacious, athletic and a competitor. Shes only a sophomore, but she was voted one of our captains because of her leadership skills. I trust her with the ball in any situation because shes mature and she makes great decisions on the court. She is single-handedly the reason we got back into this game tonight, Crestwood head coach Brittany Mayle said.
Hoffman finished the game with 10 points and 5 rebounds, but propelled her team to victory with her refusal to quit.
Crestwood tied the score for the first time all night with only 1:15 left in the final quarter when Mallory Lorence scored from the block after a quick shot fake to get rid of a Rootstown defender.
The Rovers were able to reclaim the lead when Cayanne Breznak knocked down a couple of shots from the charity strip, setting the score at 36-34.
Seconds later with only 19.7 second left in regulation Hoffman found herself at the line and sunk both of her free throws once again tying the score and sending both teams into an overtime showdown.
The Red devils scored first when Allison Vannoy proved once again how important free throws would be in winning the game. Vannoy went 2-for-2 at the line.
Casey Miracle answered with a block shot tying the score and after making her and-one attempt she gave the Rovers a narrow lead.
Vannoy was able to tie the score from the foul line once more at 39-39. Miracle scored the last point for Rootstown on a free throw before Crestwood claimed their victory. Lorence made another criticle block shot and Vannoy went 2-2 at the line one last time, making the final score 43-40.
Vannoy finished as Crestwoods leading scorer with 13 points and 6 rebounds.
The one thing I always preach to my girls is never give up and always fight and they did that tonight. We messed up the first half, but how they responded in the second half is a testament to how were going to respond all year. We are going to fight and if we go down, we go down swinging, Mayle said.
Major contributors for the Rovers included Brandi Barkhurst with 11 points and 8 rebounds, Miracle with 11 points and 3 rebounds and Cayanne Breznak with 11 points and 10 rebounds.