The McKinney Christian Lady Mustangs got a hard fought 63-57 win over the Leonard Tigers Tuesday night, avenging last year’s narrow defeat in the Bland Tourney Championship. This year, like last year, the Mustangs held the lead from the beginning until the waning moments of the game. However, unlike last year, the Mustangs were able to withstand the pressure from the relentless Tigers and hold onto the victory, evening their record in the young season at 2-2.
The Mustangs were playing for the first time with their full complement of players as Julie James returned from her soccer pursuits and led the Mustang attack from the point. Hannah Wilks continued her torrid double double pace, leading the Mustangs in points and rebounds with 31 and 13 respectively. For the season she is now averaging 29 and 12, but Tuesday she started slowly, missing her first three shots. Once she got going, however, on a feed from James on a the fast break, she was unstoppable and Leonard had no answer for her. Wilks concluded the opening stanza with 8 points on three baskets and two of two from the line. James, Kaycee Zanetell, and Mackenna Schulte added baskets while Fr Anna Keebler added a free-throw and it was 15-9 after one.
Both teams really got going in the second period with the Tigers scorching their home nets for 20 points, including 8 of 9 free throws. Unfortunately for the home team, however, the Mustangs were even hotter, ripping the threads for 25 points. Wilks went off for 13 in the period. Schulte added 4 from the post and James Zanetell and Keebler scored again. Senior captain Sarah Grubbs got on the board with 2 and it was 40-29 at the break.
The Mustangs were cautioned to prepare for a run by the Tigers in the second half and Blackburn opened the second half with two straight three-pointers to close the gap to 5 points. Defense was the name of the game the rest of the period as the Mustangs switched to a man to man to contain Blackburn, who cooled for awhile under attention by James. The Mustangs also cooled significantly, scoring only 8 themselves compared to 13 by the Tigers who closed to 48-42 after 3.
Blackburn opened the 4th with several drives on the left side, scoring 10 in the 4th and putting James in jeopardy with 4 fouls. She joined Schulte, Zanetell, and Keebler with 4 fouls each and things were getting tense. With the game on the line the Mustangs went back to their strength, continuing to feed Wilks who responded with 8 4th quarter points, including 4 of 4 from the line. James went 3 of 4 from the line in crunch time, Grubbs scored on a fast break and Jr Lily Thompson dropped a nice 12-footer in as the Mustangs sealed the deal, 63-57.
Both teams shot well from the line in the foul-plagued affair. MCA went 19 of 24 (79%) with Wilks hitting 13 of 14. The Tigers were good but not good enough with 18 of 28 (64%) and dropped to 4-2 on the season.
MCA Wilks 31 pts 13 rebounds, James 9 pt 5 rebs, 3 stls and 6 asst, Schulte 8 pts 5 rebs, Grubbs 6 pts, 5 rebs 4 stls, Zanetell 4 pts 4 stls, Keebler 3 pts and L Thompson 2 pts