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MTZ girls basketball goes 3-1 last week

Maddie Kendall fires a pass to Alex Smith in a 51-33 win against Central A&M at Mt. Zion.

By Blake Faith
Staff Writer

The Mt. Zion girls basketball team went 3-1 last week picking up wins against Central A&M, Chatham-Glenwood and Mattoon while losing to Lincoln.

Against Central A&M, the Braves’ offense was slow to start as the Braves went a little more than three minutes to start the game without a basket. The Braves were down 11-7 at the end of the first quarter and at the end of the first half were tied 18-18.

The Braves’ offense started off with three straight scores on their first three possessions. Denver Anderson made two free-throws and Kalliana Becker added two. Jilyan Burgener scored for the Raiders on their second possession to tie the game at 20-20. The

Braves took the lead off Becker’s free-throws and added when Becker got the ball from Maddie Kendall after good ball movement as Becker finished the scoring play.

Becker scored her sixth point of the quarter when Alex Smith found her for a finish. The Braves punished the Raiders as Burgener was absent in the third quarter due to possible injury. The Braves turned those Becker six points into a 17-4 run to end the quarter and put the Braves up 37-24.

Burgener re-entered the game in the fourth quarter and scored on back-to-back possessions to cut the Braves’ lead to 39-28. The Braves just needed five more points including a three-point play from Anderson that gave them a 44-28 lead and the momentum as they finished with a 51-33 lead. Anderson finished with a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds. Burgener led the Raiders with 16 points.

I think we were a little flat and maybe too emotional while being flat on two things,” Head coach Steve Marvel said. “We didn’t do things that we should be doing, but we came out in the second half and responded to what we talked about at halftime and did an excellent job with energy and an outstanding third quarter. We did what we should have been doing for the first half and I was really pleased. With us not having Joshlyn Turner available and having some freshmen step up and really give us some great minutes, especially defensively.”

Uh, it was, it was really good seeing that and especially moving forward, getting close to the postseason.

The Braves improved to 20-8 overall and 7-4 in Apollo Conference play. The Braves will face Sullivan and Effingham in their last regular season games and then on Valentines Day will face Eisenhower in their regional semifinal while being the number two seed in their sub-sectional.

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