CITY/SVC Bland's 23 powers Spartans

Boardman is 5-0 in the Steel Valley Conference; Rayen defeated Timken.
AUSTINTOWN -- Amber Bland scored 23 points and Ashlee Russo added 19 Monday as the Boardman High girls basketball team turned back Austintown Fitch, 60-36, to stay undefeated in the Steel Valley Conference.
Bland made five baskets in the first five minutes to give Boardman (12-1, 5-0 SVC) a 15-2 lead.
Russo's 3-pointer at 6 minutes, 16 seconds of the second quarter pushed the Boardman lead to 23-8.
The Falcons (7-6, 2-3) answered with a 14-3 run as Erin Orr's jump shot cut it to 26-22.
But Bland connected on a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining to give the Spartans a 29-22 margin at the intermission.
Boardman moved out to a 35-22 lead early in the third quarter.
Close call: Fitch's Cassie Williams made a basket and Kim Buhro added a pair of free throws to narrow the margin to 35-30 with 3:37 remaining.
The Spartans scored nine points to end the third period, then opened the final quarter by scoring six more. Bland made two baskets and Russo scored eight points during the surge.
Boardman had a 33-32 edge on the boards, with Russo grabbing eight rebounds and Bland seven.
Russo, who sank 7-of-8 free throws, also had four assists and three steals.
Katie McDermott and Dawn Simpson of Fitch each grabbed eight rebounds. McDermott scored all of her 11 points in the first half, nine of them coming in the second quarter.
Rayen 65, Timken 39: CANTON -- Cherrell Triplett and Taniesha Holland turned in outstanding two-way performance for the Tigers.
Triplett, a senior, scored 23 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had seven steals, while Holland, a freshman, had 19 points and 10 steals, in the City Series game.
Rayen (8-4, 3-0), which holds first place in the City Series, had a season-high 44 steals.
Rayen zipped to a 21-2 first-quarter lead and padded that to 37-11 at the half.
Sierra Humphries had eight points to lead Canton Timken (2-9, 1-2).

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