The Mount Gilead sixth grade girls basketball team swept two games from Marion Harding Saturday.
The host Indians, fresh off a nail biter last week, came out strong versus the Presidents. The Indians, with the help of frustrating defense from Riley Burchett and Kourtney James out front, took a quick 6-0 lead after one quarter. The Indians’ offense was working well and got a lot of good shots, but not many were falling. Otherwise the game wouldn’t have been as close. But the key to their victory in game one was team defense. They didn’t give up a single point until just before half time. Alexis Thompson, Meaghan Clapper and Becca Staley all helped keep their guards from driving to the basket. Down low, the Indians dominated the paint as well. With the help of Kaylene Brinkman, Shelby Thatcher and Moriah Brooke, Marion Harding was only able to get off two shots off in the paint.
The Indians were led by Riley McCoy and Staley with four points each, Brinkman with three and James with two. McCoy also led the way in rebounds with eight. Taylor Hashman grabbed 6 while Brooke grabbed 5. The Indians won 13-8.
Game two was a battle from the beginning. The Presidents played their A team. The Indians found themselves getting outhustled down the court and for loose balls. They found themselves down 6-0 after one period. MG started matching the intensity of the Presidents and held them to just three points in the second quarter while breaking through on the scoreboard for themselves, finishing the first half down 2-9.
“The second half,” according to coach Jason Brooke, “was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever witnessed.” Down 2-9, the Indians faced an uphill challenge. A Presidents team that hustled all game and seemed to control the boards all the first half found themselves facing a different, more motivated Indian squad. “One basket at a time, one period at a time, shut them out and don’t give up!” was what coaches Matt Brinkman and Brooke stressed coming out in the second half. The girls took that to heart. Trapping on defense and taking control of the boards helped the girls battle back. The Indians fought for every basket they could get. Working the ball down low on offense and intent on not giving up a rebound helped turn the tide for MG.
James and Burchett frustrated their guards. McCoy, Hashman, and Brooke decided they were not going to give up a rebound. Every loose ball and every missed shot the Indians snagged. They battled back in the third quarter holding the opponent to no points while closing the gap to 6-9. The momentum was swinging and both teams knew it! Shutting down the offense that seemed so dominant in the first half gave the battling Indians more and more confidence and the Presidents couldn’t escape the intensity and determination of the Indians.
After Riley Burchett sank two big free throws, the girls felt that the win was in their grasp. Hashman earned a hard-fought basket down low to bring them within one. Then as time was expiring, James hit a buzzer-beating jump shot from 18 feet to take the lead going into the last period!
No baskets and no rebounds was the focus on the Indians defense over the last 2.5 minutes. The Indians girls were hustling for every loose ball and fighting for every rebound, withstanding the onslaught of a desperate fight from the Presidents. After a timely free throw from Burchett, the Indians sealed the comeback victory, shutting out Harding the entire second half and winning 11-9!
The Indians were led by Burchett with three points and six steals. Also making significant contributions for MG was McCoy with two points and eight rebounds, Hashman with two points and seven rebounds, Brooke with two points and five rebounds, and James with two points and five steals.
Information received from Jason Brooke.
Highland seventh grade girls
The Highland seventh graders added two more wins on the season recently.
On Monday, Feb. 1, they took care of East Knox 24-11. Highland took a 9-0 lead after the first quarter and continued building their lead through the second and third periods on their way to the 13-point win.
Then, on Saturday, they opened the seventh grade tournament with a 31-12 win over Fredericktown. The young Scots would outscore their opponents in each of the four quarters, taking a 6-1 lead after one and turning it into a 13-4 halftime advantage before moving in front 23-6 after three period.
Information received from Camaranne Myles.