MG girls get past Highland


Decisive third quarter key to win

By Rob Hamilton - [email protected]



Faith White drives for a shot attempt in Mount Gilead’s 40-33 win at Highland Wednesday. White scored 11 in the game for MG, with seven coming in the opening period.

Faith White drives for a shot attempt in Mount Gilead’s 40-33 win at Highland Wednesday. White scored 11 in the game for MG, with seven coming in the opening period.


Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

Highland’s Guinevere Jackson puts up a jumper in action from Wednesday.


Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

Over the course of the first half, Mount Gilead and Highland played evenly in their Wednesday night girls’ basketball game, with the Indians holding a 19-18 lead after 16 minutes of action.

The fourth quarter saw the host Scots take a 15-10 advantage; however the third period would be dominated by MG. The 11-0 edge they took during that span proved to be the deciding factor in a 40-33 win that improved them to 4-0 on the season.

“We talked about it at halftime,” said Indian coach Nick Vukovich. “We made some adjustments, but the main goal was to win the first four minutes of the third quarter. I think our defense has been our savior all year long. We hold teams to single digits in at least one or two quarters and in that third quarter, that’s what we did.”

Scot coach Matt Bradley said that third quarter was lethal to his team’s chances of earning its first win of the year.

“Unfortunately, we play four quarters and not three,” he noted. “I don’t know what I’m doing as a coach, but I’m not having them ready to come out after halftime. This has happened several times, so I have to do some reflecting on my end of why we’re coming out flat in the third quarter.”

Before that third quarter, neither team could get an advantage. While seven quick points by Faith White helped stake the Indians to an early 9-3 lead, Highland was able to finish the quarter strongly. Trailing 14-8 with under three minutes left, they got a three-pointer by Guinevere Jackson, one free throw from Kameron Stover and a pair of foul shots by Aubree Bellamy to tie the game.

Offense was hard to come by for either team in the second quarter. While Highland got buckets from both Bryleigh Young and Bellamy, MG was able to get five points by Madilyn Elson to hold a one-point lead going into the half. Bradley felt his team got away from the game plan after the opening stanza.

“We talk as a team about how passing is greater than dribbling and I thought we fell in love with the dribble in the second and third quarters,” he said. “Mount Gilead did a really good job of just kind of packing it in — I know that’s how their defense is designed — and we just literally dribbled right into them. We over-dribbled it and that’s what caused the turnovers and got our spacing all out of whack.”

Elson would lead the Indians in the third quarter, scoring 10 of her team’s 11 points in that period. Vukovich noted that one of his team’s strengths is balanced scoring, saying that a number of girls are capable of stepping up and providing a spark.

“One thing about this team is we don’t have a true leading scorer,” he said. “Anybody on any given night can score for us and that’s what’s important. We play team basketball and want each other to be successful. It could be Faith one night, could be Elson the next, could be (Candace) Millisor another night. We just don’t know who our leading scorer is going to be because, once again, we play good team basketball right now.”

Four points by White and two by Ava Baker staked MG to a 36-20 lead early in the fourth quarter, but Highland was able to battle back. Four points by Abby Jordan led the team on a 7-0 run that made it 36-27 with 1:58 to play. Down the stretch, they would get three-pointers by Bellamy and Shelby Conley, but wouldn’t get closer than seven points.

“In the fourth quarter, we actually moved the ball around a little bit and we got some open shots,” said Bradley. “We played with a little sense of urgency late. We have to carry that over and figure out how to bottle that up for 32 minutes instead of eight.”

Bellamy led Highland with seven points. For MG, Elson tallied a game-high 20 and White finished with 11.

“Any time you go on the road and get a win, it’s great,” said Vukovich. “We’ll celebrate the win tonight, but tomorrow, our focus is Centerburg. They come to our place and it’s a conference game. We want to be perfect at home — that’s one of our goals — and we want to stay perfect in the conference.”

Faith White drives for a shot attempt in Mount Gilead’s 40-33 win at Highland Wednesday. White scored 11 in the game for MG, with seven coming in the opening period.
https://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2022/12/web1_faithwhite.jpgFaith White drives for a shot attempt in Mount Gilead’s 40-33 win at Highland Wednesday. White scored 11 in the game for MG, with seven coming in the opening period. Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

Highland’s Guinevere Jackson puts up a jumper in action from Wednesday.
https://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2022/12/web1_guineverejackson2.jpgHighland’s Guinevere Jackson puts up a jumper in action from Wednesday. Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel
Decisive third quarter key to win

By Rob Hamilton

[email protected]

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS