Lindsay Johnson scored 16 points and Angelina Fiumara had 11 for the Tigers.
NEW MIDDLETOWN -- With both teams at 15 wins coming into Thursday night's contest, East Palestine High hoped to avenge a Dec. 22 defeat to Springfield, but, despite an excellent start, it wasn't meant to be.
The Tigers (16-4), with a 35-17 advantage in the middle two quarters, finished with a 64-53 victory.
It was senior night for Springfield and the only two Tiger upperclassmen, Lindsay Johnson and Angelina Fiumara, were big contributors.
In the early going, East Palestine broke away from a 6-6 deadlock with a 7-2 run. Samantha DiCello keyed it with a steal and layup and a 12-foot jumper. When the first quarter ended, the Bulldogs held a 17-15 lead.
DiCello, who leads East Palestine with a 15-point per game average, was 4-for-4 at the foul line early in the second quarter to put the Bulldogs on top, 23-17, with 5:52 remaining.
Tigers take charge
The Tigers then went on an 11-0 run to take the lead, getting contributions from six players. Johnson converted an offensive rebound to tie the score at 23 with 4:37 to go, then junior Chelsea Quimby tossed in the game's only 3-pointer for a 26-23 Springfield lead, which it did not relinquish.
The Tigers finished the half with a 36-28 lead. East Palestine had eight of its 28 turnovers in the second quarter and had 11 more miscues in the third quarter.
A steal and a layup inside the four minute mark by Quimby made the score 46-32 and 21/2 minutes later a short jumper by Samantha Cavalier put Springfield ahead, 50-32.
The Tigers' biggest lead was 19 (55-36) with a little more than six minutes remaining. East Palestine cut into that deficit but couldn't get closer than the final score.
Johnson, Fiumara lead the way
"We played hard, and at times we played faster than we wanted to, which led to turning the ball over," said East Palestine coach Bob Wright. "Springfield took us out of our offensive flow with their pressure man-to-man defense."
Johnson finished with 16 points for the Tigers and Fiumara added 11. Cavalier, a junior guard, had 10 points and eight rebounds. Whitney Yeager had seven boards and Joanna Dick pulled in six.
"We knew they could shoot the basketball, so our game plan was to get up on them and not allow them to shoot from the outside," said Springfield coach Sandi Kohler. "Then early on they were beating us off the dribble to the basket and getting uncontested layups, but we were able to close them down inside and outside as the game progressed.
"Christy Warren did a great defensive job on Ashley Ehrenberg, who had six 3-pointers in our first meeting."
DiCello had a game-high 18 points and Ehrenberg added 13 for East Palestine. Michelle Haggerty had seven of the team's 25 rebounds, and Amanda Mesmer had six.