By Chad Grant
WADSWORTH — When one player nearly outscores the opposition and her team forces four times as many turnovers as it allows baskets, the recipe for a rout is complete.
Wadsworth’s girls basketball team cooked up a perfect blowout Wednesday against previously unbeaten Tallmadge, running away with a 55-19 Suburban League win.
The Grizzlies (7-1, 5-0) let things simmer for a few minutes, as the Blue Devils (6-1, 4-1) trailed just 6-4 with 3:40 left in the first quarter.
From that point, the turnovers for Tallmadge and the points for Wadsworth came in bunches.
Wadsworth point guard Rachel Goddard (16 points, 4 assists, 6 steals) turned up the temperature by scoring six straight points and the Blue Devils were officially cooked.
“Any time you have a quality team that’s off to a good start like Tallmadge is, you want to take any of that confidence away early,” Wadsworth coach Andrew Booth said. “I thought we did that, especially defensively. We were a little sloppy offensively and we didn’t shoot a great percentage, but our defense was consistent the whole night.”
Goddard’s 16 points were nearly enough to beat Tallmadge, as the Wadsworth defense turned on the broiler.
“I think our defense was really good tonight,” the 5-foot-7 senior said. “Our defense has been really good all year and it’s our main focus this year. We held them to 19 points, so I would give our defense the credit.”
Wadsworth forced 34 turnovers — 20 in the first half — and limited Tallmadge to an ice-cold 24 percent (8-of-33) from the floor as the lead rose as high as 38 in the fourth quarter.
“They’re the type of team that likes to run their sets and be patient,” Booth said. “What we tried to do was get them out of those sets. Even when they got the ball past half court, we had a press mentality in the half court. We were successful with that.”
Behind Taylore Robinson (9 points, 10 rebounds) and Madison Gilger (4, 6), the Grizzlies held a 30-22 edge on the glass.
“When our shots aren’t going in, I know I have to get to the boards,” Robinson said. “When their shots aren’t going in, getting a quick rebound can start our transition.”
Kirsten Lightel (5 points) and Amanda Brumbaugh (4) were the only Tallmadge players that had more than one basket or a pair of free throws.
Wadsworth completed the double-whammy by winning the junior varsity game 47-10. Aubrey Virgin led the Grizzlies with 17 points.
Contact Chad Grant at email@example.com.