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Aurora -- The Greenmen girls were right where they wanted to be against Kenston; they did most of the things they needed to for an upset win.
Erika Greenburg's squad was playing outstanding defense and had the tempo slowed down to a pace the team felt comfortable with in the Jan. 25 battle. But the Bombers eventually wore down Aurora and escaped with a 51-42 victory.
"We finally had a competitive game against Kenston and the girls played really well," said Greenburg. "I was extremely proud of their effort and you couldn't ask for more from a team than what they gave."
The loss spoiled a superb effort by senior guard Hanna Garnek, who had 13 points.
The Bombers, who outscored Aurora 20-13 at the free throw line, are 10-7 overall. Aurora dropped to 3-15 overall and 3-6 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division. Kenston is 6-2.
Last winter, Kenston shared the CVC championship with Chagrin Falls. It was the Bombers' fourth title in a row.
The first half was a defensive battle as Aurora held Kenston to a season-low 14 points. However, the Lady Greenmen managed just 10, including 3 in the second stanza.
"I thought the girls executed our defensive game plan," said the coach. "We may have fouled a bit too much, but our defense was great."
Things opened up a bit in the second half. Aurora exploded for 32 points and trailed by only 28-26 heading into the final 8 minutes. That's when the Bombers exploded for 23 points.
"I think our inexperience caught up with us at the end of the game and we made some bad decisions with the ball and were a little too timid," said the mentor. "Overall, it was a great game and I was proud."
FRESHMAN post Syarra Sellers chipped in with 7 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Sophomore wing Maria Mims scored 6, sophomore guard Logan Huffman and freshman guard April Davis each had 5, freshman guard Korie Hobbs 4 and senior forward Kali Bachman added a bucket.
"The best part is that it was really a team effort," said Greenburg. "We were in some serious foul trouble and players stepped up and filled their role."
On Jan. 22, Aurora won a league game on the road (54-29 over Orange). "That was a great team victory as we had multiple players contribute and score for us" said Greenberg. "It was a good win as the kids gained a little confidence after beating Perry in a great game."
Garnek was outstanding with 14 points, 5 boards and 3 steals. Sellers excelled with 11 points, 6 caroms, 4 blocked shots and 3 thefts.
Hobbs had a nice floor game with 7 points, plus dished out 4 assists and had 5 steals, while Mims had 6 points and 8 rebounds, Davis scored 7 points with 3 steals and Huffman netted 5 points.
Balanced season scoring has Garnek leading with 9.0 points and 5.0 rebounds a game, while Mims adds 6.0 points and 3.0 boards. Davis and Huffman are at 5 points a contest along with Sellers, who is averaging 6.0 boards a game. Hobbs is adding 4.0 points and 4.0 rebounds a game, plus Bachman is at 3.0 points.
Aurora plays Feb. 1 in a CVC game at Chagrin Falls and has a non-league game at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin on Feb. 4 before hosting West Geauga in a league game on Feb. 8.