Kallianna Becker protects the ball and looks to pass in a 45-36 loss against Taylorville at Mt. Zion.
By BLAKE FAITH
The Mt. Zion girls basketball team split its two games this week picking up an Apollo conference win against Mahomet-Seymour and losing a conference game against Taylorville.
Against Taylorville, the tone was set early that it looked to be a defensive battle. It took both teams the three minutes of the game to get on the scoreboard. Addison Tarr went one-of-two from the free-throw line to give the Tornadoes a 1-0 lead. Denver
Anderson made the first basket of the game hitting a mid-range jump shot from the free-throw line to make it 2-1 at the 4:30 mark.
The Braves and Tornadoes continued to do battle and after two quarters, the Braves took a 17-15 lead. In the third quarter, the Tornadoes went on a 10-0 run to start that included three-pointers from Tarr and Aubrey Kietzman to give the Tornadoes a 25-17 lead.
The Braves responded with a. 5-0 run of their own. Kenndedy Highley found Anderson who made the mid-range jumper through the contact and nailed her free-throw. Maddie Kendall then made the steal on the defensive end and went coast-to-coast and finished at the rim to narrow the lead to 25-21.
Tarr made what looked like to be the last basket of the third quarter, but the Braves made a play with their defense that turned into offense. Ella Fink was inserted into the game and with her and Anderson’s pressure in the backcourt, Anderson made a steal and finished at the rim at the buzzer to end the quarter down 27-23.
Tarr continued to heat up and in the fourth quarter connected on two more three-pointers. The Braves countered with Kallianna Becker who got the ball off an Anderson assist and finished at the rim and then finished rim. Becker made a floater and then Jocelyn Turner made a block on the defensive end and on offense used a pump-fake to create space and then fired a pass to Anderson who made a top of the key three pointer to cut the Tornadoes’ lead to 33-30.
Tarr scored another five points off a layup and three-pointer. Bracie Barnes made two free-throws and then Anderson found Turner who finished at the rim to narrow the lead to 40-38. The teams traded baskets once again and Anderson found Turner as Turner made the hook-shot to cut the lead to 40-36.
The Tornadoes held on and won 45-36. Tarr scored 19 points for the Tornadoes and Anderson scored 15 points for the Braves and grabbed six rebounds and made four steals.
The Braves improved to 17-7 overall and 6-3 in Apollo Conference play. This week the Braves will face Central A&M, Lincoln, Chatham-Glenwood and Mattoon.
“I just told them Mondays gotta be a redemption game for us,” Head coach Steve Marvel said. Our effort and our intensity has to be significantly better. I expect it to be for a variety of reasons. On Tuesday we have Lincoln, if we come out with that same effort and intensity tonight, today or like we had today versus Lincoln on Tuesday, it’s gonna be a repeat of what happened when we were up there at their place and we’re going to be embarrassed and it’s just like I told them. The outcomes aren’t as concerning to me. If we’ve given it our all and we have our effort and our intensity, then I can live with the outcome. But that wasn’t there, but that’s what’s disappointing here. This was such a huge game for us and as far as us putting ourselves in a position to finish top two in conference which hasn’t happened here for several years. We still have a great chance to finish top three in conference and hopefully we will, but we have to improve our effort moving forward in everything.”