The Tigers wanted to win for their suspended coach.
By BOB ROTH
YOUNGSTOWN -- Four players scored in double figures as The Rayen School girls basketball team won its 12th straight game Monday, defeating visiting Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, 77-59.
Taniesha Holland, a 5-foot-6 sophomore, scored 25 points as the Tigers (15-3) broke a 2-2 tie with 6 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the first quarter and never trailed again.
Rayen led 20-15 at the end of the first quarter, then used good defensive pressure and dominated the boards to take a 33-21 lead with 3:30 remaining in the first half.
Holland had 16 points in the first half and Ashley Myers added 10 as the Tigers led 42-27.
Rayen twice took 21-point leads in the third quarter, but the Irish (11-8) stayed close. SVSM cut the deficit to 59-45 at the end of the third quarter and was within 10 (63-53) with 5:30 remaining.
But the Tigers' speed was too much as Holland, Myers and Erica Wilson keyed a 6-0 run.
Rayen out-rebounded the Irish 44-32 and had 20 steals, forcing 27 SVSM turnovers. Holland had 10 rebounds, six assists and five steals and Myers had 10 rebounds and four steals.
"This was a good team, so we knew we had to take it to them," Holland said.
Added Myers, "We really came together as a team."
Wilson had 16 points, nine rebounds and five steals for the Tigers, who were without coach Holly Seimetz. Seimetz was suspended for two games after being ejected in the Tigers' win over Warren JFK.
"We knew we had to win this one for Coach Seimetz," Wilson said. "When we started a little slow, all of us came together and picked up the tempo at both ends of the court."
Rayen assistants Brenda Scott and Tanisha Franklin filled in for Seimetz.
"Our game plan was to be aggressive on defense and work the ball on offense," Scott said.
Kellyn Murphy led the Irish with 23 points and nine rebounds and senior Christy Sullivan added 11. Kristin Darrow had nine rebounds and Ama Ocran added seven rebounds.
"I thought we were athletically quick until we saw Rayen in the flesh tonight," Irish coach Joe Ciarrochi said. "They took advantage of our rotation on the floor and just about every error we made."