Bracie Barnes and Denver Anderson hold their all-tournament team selection plaques after a 57-49 win against ALAH in the 2022 ALAH Holiday tournament championship game.The Mt. Zion Girls basketball team with the trophy after its 57-49 win against ALAH in the 2022 ALAH Holiday tournament championship game. Front row left to right: Ingrid Bakeman, Miya Means, Avery Kyburz, Kallianna Becker, Ella FInk, Addy Rotz, Ava Anderson and Jillian Rocky. Back row left to right: Head Coach Steve Marvel, Assistant Coach Mikayla Lehman, Chloe Williams, Maddie Kendall, Alex Smith, Bracie Barnes, Jocelyn Turner, Kennedy Highley, Naomi Schmahl, Denver Anderson, Anna Cox and Assistant Coach Jeff Schumate.
By BLAKE FAITH
The Mt. Zion girls basketball team won three of its four games last week while also winning the ALAH Holiday Tournament against the Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond Knights. Bracie Barnes and Denver Anderson were all-tournament selections for the Braves.
Against ALAH, the Braves were tied with the Knights 9-9 at the end of the first quarter. The Braves turned behind their senior Kallianna Becker who scored seven straight points. Maddie Kendall found Becker first for a three-pointer and also assisted on a Becker layup. Anderson assisted on another Becker layup that helped give the Braves a 16-9 lead.
The Knights scored on point, but then Naomi Schmahl grabbed an offensive rebound and made a layup. Anderson nailed a three pointer and then found Kendall for a three-pointer that built a 23-10 lead. The Braves would finish the quarter with a 31-16 lead.
In the third quarter, Anderson got into foul trouble and had to sit at the end of the third and early in the fourth quarter. Claire Seals helped bring the Knights back into the game along with a Kailee Otto three-pointer that cut the Braves lead to 51-47.
Seale finished the game with 15 points with five of them coming in the fourth and had the assist for Otto’s three-pointer.
With 57.2 seconds left and on back-to-back possessions. The Braves drew up an inbound play where Anderson inbounded the ball into Jocelyn Turner. Turner then swung the ball back to Anderson who was fouled and made her free-throws which were six in a row that ended in a 57-49 tournament championship win. Anderson led all scorers with 24 points along with 12 rebounds.
“Tonight I think we had moments,” Head coach Steve Marvel said. “We weren’t really good defensively. We should have been in the first quarter or the third quarter, our fourth quarter, not the third quarter and I think that easy to see if you were watching the game. We weren’t communicating well, we weren’t following our principles of how we like to do things. Stopping the ball, protecting, filling in both sides, the weak side and not always having the same person every time. We did get better at that, in the second and third quarter. Especially in the second quarter we did a lot good things with that. I think overall we had some good offensive stuff we got in the fourth quarter too. We got just too dependent waiting on them to do something. We didn’t run anything. I told them can’t do that. We have lots of options to get into something moving. That’s one thing. So we still have learn to how to get out of that mode. Especially like today in foul trouble and we have to sit someone. We have to have some other things going on.”
The Braves improve to 13-6 overall and 4-2 in Apollo conference play. The Braves will face Charleston, St. Teresa and Maroa-Forsyth this week.
“We have to start really preparing for and gotta start thinking about postseason and the rest of conference play,” Coach Marvel said. “There’s still a lot of conference left. I think we have a chance to be in the top part of the conference. I think we would be a top three team if we, if we play well and do the things that we need to do. So that’s gonna be our focus that in preparing them for reasons, if we continue to improve defensively and continue to move the ball. We had some moments in the second quarter, and I think that’s why we score 27 points, 25 points in that quarter, because we moved the ball incredibly well. We also have a lot of pieces out there. We have length, we have drivers, we have shooters, we got shooters and we move the ball well.
We utilize that. It will come down to continuing to focus on sharing the ball, trusting each other and continuing to improve on defense.”