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AURORA -- A huge fourth quarter and stalwart play from Shayla Sellers enabled the Aurora High girls basketball squad to gain a half-game lead for first place in the Suburban League American Conference with a 40-35 win over Barberton.
Superb team defense has been the norm for Aurora this winter and that helped the locals collect a huge league win at home over the Magics on Jan. 21.
A 16-8 fourth quarter was pivotal to the Lady Greenmen, who moved to 7-1 in the American Conference, a half-game better than Richfield Revere's 6-1 record.
Aurora is 12-3 in all games.
The two top teams in the SL will face each other Jan. 28 at Revere, while tonight's (Jan. 25) scheduled league contest against Highland has been moved to Jan. 30.
"Our defense has been very good, and we are just not allowing opponents to score many points," pointed out veteran head coach Erika Greenberg.
Barberton (3-12, 1-6) was held in check in the second half as Aurora's pressure defense forced missed shots and turnovers.
Sellers, a 5-foot-11 forward-guard, had a sensational game for the Greenmen. She poured in 16 points, had 5 steals, 5 rebounds, and blocked 3 shots.
"Shayla had a really strong game and was all over the place," noted Greenberg. "She was all over the place on defense and attacked the basket a little bit more than normal."
Sophomore guard-forward Haley Ross also played well, as she had 8 points and 4 rebounds.
In addition, seniors Syarra Sellers, April Davis and Sarah Marchese played key roles in the victory.
Syarra Sellers added 6 points and hauled down 7 rebounds. Davis popped in 6 points and had a solid floor game. Marchese, a veteran wing, started in place of senior guard Korie Hobbs, who was out with a knee injury.
"Marchese did well for Korie and we hope she [Hobbs] will be back for our next game," said Greenberg.
On the season, Aurora has solid balance individually.
Hobbs, Syarra Sellers and Shayla Sellers are the scoring leaders at a modest 8.5 points a game. Shayla Sellers is also averaging 7 rebounds, 4.5 thefts, and 3 assists a contest.
Syarra Sellers is adding 4.6 boards a game, while Hobbs is adding 4.5 rebounds, but Ross has come on strong to average 5 rebounds a game. Davis is adding 6 points a contest for the Lady Greenmen.
"We're not scoring a ton of points, but we are not allowing that many either," noted the mentor. "Hopefully, we can just keep taking care of business."
In boys basketball action, the varsity team dropped to 4-8 overall and 1-5 in the Suburban League American Conference after a 64-51 loss to Tallmadge (7-4, 4-2) on Jan. 20 at home. No other details from the game were available.
The boys were to host Streetsboro on Jan. 24 in non-league action. They will play league games Jan. 27 at home against Kent Roosevelt and Jan. 31 at Barberton.