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MTZ Girls Basketball opens season with a 1-3 start

Abby Scharf goes up for a layup through the heart of the defense in a 64-31 loss against Hillsboro in the 2021 Taylorville Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday night.

Staff Writer

The Mt. Zion girls basketball team started their season last week with a 1-3 start. Their win came against Eisenhower and losses came against Hillsboro, Civic Memorial and Rochester at the Taylorville Thanksgiving Girls Basketball Tournament. In the Hillsboro game Denver

Anderson led the Braves with 14 points and five rebounds in 61-34 loss.

The Braves started the game off strong when Kalliana Becker picked up the offensive rebound and scored on a putback layup.

The Hilltoppers rattled off six straight points behind two key players in Layne Rupert and Alex Frailey. Both got themselves going with layups to make the score 6-2.

The Braves regained the lead after Abby Scharf nailed a left-wing three to give the Braves a 7-6 lead. That would be the last lead the Braves had throughout the game.

The Braves kept it close, ending the first quarter trailing 19-13. Scharf started the second quarter getting Anderson started finding her teammate for an open layup

The Hilltoppers responded with Rupert. Rupert scored six of the Hilltoppers’ nine second quarter points by getting to the rim and finishing layups and hitting a midrange jumper to give the Hilltoppers a 28-20 lead going into the third quarter.

In the third quarter, the Braves came out and chipped at the Hilltoppers’ lead with their defense and playmaking. Scharf started the play making by driving the ball into the heart of the Hilltoppers’ defense and making a tough layup to make the score 28-22 in favor of the Hilltoppers.

Bracie Barnes’ defense contributed on back to back possessions when she blocked a shot and then stole a ball. On her steal the ball was found by Anderson who drove the ball to the rim and was fouled. Anderson made both free-throws to cut the lead to 28-24.

Rupert ended the run scoring on a layup to put the Hilltoppers up 30-24. Anderson then found Becker for a layup to narrow the lead to 30-26.

Rupert then used her playmaking ability to find Frailey for layups and then scored on her own layups to give the Hilltoppers a 41-26 third quarter lead. Rupert finished the game with 21 points and Frailey finished with 16.

“I was disappointed. Things that we work on in practice that aren’t transitioning right now, but it’s one new new things. So there’s going to be that learning curve and I just have to be patient with that” Head Coach Steve Marvel said. “And we may have to simplify some things, but, our intensity has to be better. We came out for the start at the third quarter and we were really good at the beginning.”

The Braves scored seven points in the fourth quarter behind a Scharf put back, an Anderson three-pointer and an Anderson put back. The Braves fell 61-34.

Positives that Coach Marvel took away for his team were his teams defense when it came to their communication, deflections and blocks.

Against Civic Memorial, the Braves lost 78-27. Against Rochester, the Braves lost 43-22. Against Eisenhower, the Braves won 52-32.

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