WADSWORTH — Chelsea Huffman has been unstoppable over the past month, averaging an eye-popping 30.2 points for the Cuyahoga Falls girls basketball team.
Taylor Leatherman and Kylee Batey prevented her from getting close to that figure Wednesday.
The dynamic defenders limited Huffman to 18 points on 18 field goal attempts, paving the way for Wadsworth to roll to a 71-36 win over the Black Tigers in Suburban League National Conference action.
Senior center Kacie Evans collected 18 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Grizzlies (13-3, 9-0), who led from wire to wire in remaining undefeated in conference play.
“I guarantee that Chelsea is going to sleep well tonight because she had to work for everything she got,” Wadsworth coach Andrew Booth said. “You’re not going to completely shut her down — the numbers she’s been putting up are incredible — but I thought Taylor and Kylee did a terrific job against her.”
Huffman did almost all of her damage in transition, scoring 14 points as she aggressively ran the floor. In the half-court while being shadowed by Leatherman or Batey, the 5-foot-11 small forward made just two baskets and committed seven turnovers.
The Grizzlies also shut down Huffman in their first meeting, holding her to eight points in a 64-39 victory on Dec. 8. Her stats in the rematch also benefitted from remaining on the floor as the Black Tigers (9-6, 4-4) didn’t pull their starters until 2:36 remained.
“It’s fun to be given this assignment because it’s so difficult, you know you have to be locked in the entire time,” Leatherman said. “Knowing she’s been scoring 30-plus points every game, we didn’t want her to get any open looks.”
Batey quickly added, “In the first game, Coach challenged us to hold her below 10 points, which we did. We didn’t quite get there tonight, but we knew if we stopped her, we were going to win this game easily.”
Small forward Leatherman collected 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and a team-best four steals, while shooting guard Batey had seven points and two thefts. Junior point guard E’Anna Won added 11 points and two assists for Wadsworth.
The Grizzlies forced 26 turnovers, had 15 assists on 25 hoops and won the rebounding battle 32-18. Cuyahoga Falls players not named Huffman were 6-of-23 shooting.
It was a fine all-around outing that re-energized Wadsworth, which was psychologically down after a 44-28 loss to Newark two days earlier at Berlin Hiland’s Classic in the Country.
“We all felt pretty embarrassed at the Classic because we did not represent Wadsworth very well,” Batey said. “Unlike Monday, we worked really well as a team tonight.”
Senior power forward Maria Busson added 10 points and four assists for the victors, while freshman shooting guard Allie McCall had four points and three rebounds in the fourth quarter. Junior point guard Sami Shaffer chipped in three assists off the bench.
Booth said the improved teamwork, especially “making the right pass, not necessarily the extra pass” was most evident.
“It was a disappointing game on Monday afternoon, but in typical fashion, these girls refocused and bounced back with a strong team performance,” he said. “Our defense made our offense, like it should when we get rolling, and the best part to me is we still have room to grow.”
Regan Simpson scored a game-high 15 points and fellow freshman Emily Rhoades had 10 as the junior varsity Grizzlies rolled to a 44-23 victory.
Wadsworth 71, Cuyahoga Falls 36
CUYAHOGA FALLS 4 8 14 10 — 36
WADSWORTH 18 16 19 18 — 71
Cuyahoga Falls — Raygan Corrigall 2-0-4, Chelsea Huffman 7-3-18, Olivia Lemmon 1-0-2, Alivia Hamric 0-0-0, Kayla Ramirez 2-0-6, Emma Brustoski 1-1-3, Jenna Roberts 0-3-3, Emma Seltzer 0-0-0, Kelsey Mayes 0-0-0. TOTALS: 13-7-36.
Wadsworth — Taylor Leatherman 4-2-11, Maria Busson 4-1-10, Kacie Evans 8-2-18, Kylee Batey 3-0-7, E’Anna Won 3-4-11, Stephanie Andrews 0-0-0, Maggie Long 0-2-2, Allison Elchlinger 0-1-1, Sami Shaffer 0-0-0, Regan Simpson 1-2-4, Allie McCall 2-0-4, Astrid Kjeldsteen 0-0-0, Ky’Sonna Won 0-3-3, Ciena Matheny 0-0-0. TOTALS: 25-17-71.
3-point goals — Ramirez 2, Huffman, Busson, Leatherman, Batey, E. Won. Rebounds — Cuyahoga Falls 18 (Brustoski 6), Wadsworth 32 (Evans 9). Assists — Cuyahoga Falls 8 (Hamric, Ramirez, Brustoski 2), Wadsworth 15 (Busson 4). Records — Cuyahoga Falls (9-6, 4-4), Wadsworth (13-3, 9-0). Junior varsity — Wadsworth 44, Cuyahoga Falls 23.