Wednesday , 26 October 2016

Lady Mustangs on a Roll, Braced for Showdown with Dallas Lutheran

mca_mustangs_logoMcKinney Christian Academy’s girls basketball team won twice in the past week, knocking off Yavneh and Brook Hill to improve to 10-6 overall and 3-0 in District 4-3A. Those wins have set up a showdown for first place in 4-3A on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at rival Dallas Lutheran (also 3-0). The game will be at Lutheran, the site of last year’s dramatic 55-52 double overtime win for the Mustangs that clinched their undefeated (10-0) 2013 district championship.

On Friday night, the Lady Mustangs blitzed the visiting Brook Hill Lady Guard 76-32, in a battle of first-place teams. The Mustangs and the Guard entered the contest tied with Dallas Lutheran with 2-0 records, but the Mustangs left little doubt who would remain standing after the game by putting the defensive stops on the visitors with a 15-0 first quarter effort. The Mustang defense has been steadily improving and was flawless in the opening stanza. Steady pressure created turnovers and hurried shots by the Guard while a balanced scoring effort: 6 by Hannah Wilks, 4 by Sarah Gubbs, 3 for Julie James and 2 by Makenna Schulte, paced the Mustangs.
basketball_logoThe Mustang offense really got going in the second with 25 points, as steals led to baskets on the other end. The Mustangs crashed the boards for frequent second-chance baskets, as they pulled down 22 offensive rebounds in the game. James hit for 11, Wilks for 8 and backup guard Lily Thompson hit two jumpers as the Mustangs continued to extend their lead. The Guard started to get untracked with a trey by Morgan Moss and scored 11 in the second, but when Schulte scored on a dish from James it was 40-11 at intermission.
Avery Langemeier hit a three-pointer for Brook Hill to open the half, but James attacked the basket relentlessly to score for the Mustangs, getting to the glass repeatedly, scoring two baskets and hitting 3 of 4 from the line. Schulte hit for 4 more and Wilks two as the Mustangs settled for a pedestrian 13 third-quarter points for a 53-17 lead.
Despite relaxing the defense in the fourth , the Mustangs continued to find opportunities on the other end. Grubbs ran the floor for 6, Anna Keebler hit a 15-footer and a layup and Thompson, Grubbs and Wilks dropped in treys. James led all scorers with 26 points, her high for the season, and Wilks followed with 21. Grubbs finished with 10, Schulte 8, Thompson 7 and Keebler 4 to round out the scoring.
James had a remarkable all-around game. In addition to her scoring, she had 13 steals, 8 assists and 7 rebounds. Wilks led in rebounds again with 9 while Grubbs added 5 steals and 4 assists to her line.
This week, MCA will be challenged to stop Lutheran’s talented senior forward, Rebecca Bartel, who averages 29.3 points per game.
This past Tuesday, Jan. 14, MCA raced away from the Yavneh Lady Bulldogs, establishing a 16-2 first quarter lead and never looking back en route to a 75-14 district win. Behind a tenacious defense, the Mustangs put the clamps on the Bulldogs, who could manage only two free throws.
 The Mustangs were led by leading scorer Wilks, who hit for 8 points in the opening period while James and Grubbs hit for 6 and 2, respectively. Grubbs was forced to the bench late in the period because of a hip injury and joined the the Mustang infirmary there, largely populated by reserves with assorted hand, knee and foot issues. This limited the Mustangs reserves to two replacements and as bad as that is for the Mustangs, it was worse for the Bulldogs.
The Mustang press was pulled off midway through the second period, but by then the Mustangs had exploded out to a 38-5 lead. Shooting guard Kaycee Zanetell hit two long threes and Lily Thompson, who replaced Grubbs off the bench, hit two more. Wilks continued her assault on the basket with another 11 and it was 46-8 after one half.
 Grubbs returned briefly after intermission and scored on a fast break but retired for the night soon thereafter. Makenna Schulte took over the brunt of the scoring for the second half, scoring 14 of her 18 points after the midpoint as the Mustang guards repeatedly found her open on the baseline. Zanetell hit another trey and it was 61-11 after 3.
 The Mustangs sank into a 2-3 zone defense the rest of the way pulled off the fast break as they eased into the station, 75-14. Wilks led all scorers with 19, all in the first half and added 16 rebounds and 5 steals. Schulte hit a career high 18 points and grabbed 10 caroms. James had 15 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists and 6 steals. Thompson had double figures with 10 points and added 4 assists. Zanetell closed with 9 on three threes and added 6 rebs and 5 thefts.  Grubbs had 4 points in her limited action.

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