Magics win tournament opener

Barberton’s girls basketball team breezed past Firestone, 53-29, to improve to 10-13.

The game was the opener of the OHSAA sectional tournament, as the team advances to the sectional finals at Highland Thursday, Feb. 20, 7 p.m.

Junior Hailey Haywood led the team with 14 points and 10 rebounds. She made one 3-pointer and added four assists. Brenna Walker (8 points, four steals), Laney Kaisk (7 points, 10 rebounds, four steals), An’taniyah Easter (7 points, five rebounds) and Haley Anzaldi (2 points, seven rebounds) also started the game and contributed.

Scoring off the bench were Skylar Ramsey (8 points, nine rebounds), Megan Schanz (3 points, two steals), Shakya West (2 points) and Maris Ries (2 points).

Barberton now focuses on Highland, their Suburban League American Conference rival. The teams played twice this season, and the second-seeded Hornets won each game, but survived Jan. 11 in a 33-32 win. That game has the Magics confident going into the sectional final matchup.

“Our girls know them, and they know us too,” said Head Coach Ken Rector. “We had them on the ropes last time we played there, we actually played them well both times this year. They’re very good, they’re 18-4. I think our girls have confidence against them, it’s not a bad matchup. They play three guards and two post players, we play three guards and two post players. We’re not happy to play an 18-4 team, but at least we know them and I think it will be a good game.”

An’taniyha Easter goes up for a shot in the paint against Firestone.

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