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MTZ girls basketball goes 3-1 to start season

Naomi Schmahl puts a shot up at the rim in a 60-34 win against Springfield Southeast at Mt. Zion.

Staff Writer

An 18-1 first quarter run and 16 fourth-quarter points from Denver Anderson cemented a 60-34 win against Springfield Southeast. Anderson finished with 21 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five steals while the other members of the Braves’ big three Jocelyn Turner finished with 16 points, six rebounds, three steals and three blocks and Maddie Kendall scored 10 points.

The Braves opened the first quarter with Miya Means throwing a pass to Anderson who finished at the rim. That sparked a 9-0 run that included six points from Kendall and a made free-throw from Turner.

Iyanulouwa Olarle made a free-throw for the Spartans to get them on the board. Addy Rotz then came off the bench and made a three-pointer from the left-corner and a deep midrange jumper from the left-wing for five straight points and Turner added a midrange jumper and Ella Fink made a layup at the buzzer to end the 18-1 first quarter.

The Braves finished the half ahead 26-7. In the third waiter, the Spartans went on a 13-2 run that brought the Spartans within eight down 28-20. The quarter ended with the Braves ahead 32-22 and Anderson only had five points.

“It was great to start, and then there was a run from the Spartans for a while and then it was incredible to finish,” Head coach Steve Marvel said. “I think one of the things that I don’t even know if our kids realized that, what they did and in that first quarter, the first three quarters we had a double digit lead with Denver only having five points and I told some of my starters, they had some off games today. It’s like I told them, the great thing is we’re so deep that I can bring kids off the bench and they brought such great energy and played so well, and it’s just my starters just have to then recognize and come out and, just put this one out of their head because, but it was, I think overall for us to come out and beat a team like this is pretty good. It’s a great way to start this season because this, this, that’s a good team Southeast is gonna win a lot of CS8 games and they have a lot of talent.”

Anderson started the fourth quarter burying a three-pointer with an assist from Fink that led to 11 straight points from Anderson. Anderson then drove to the rim and was fouled three times making six straight free-throws and buried another three-pointer. Tinder added seven fourth-quarter points as the Braves finished with a 60-34 win.

“Our defense is outstanding. I’ll tell you that was the great thing about holding that team to one point in a quarter in the first quarter is impressive and we did it with depth and we did it with being aggressive,” Coach Marvel said. “We had a couple periods, we got a little lax on some stuff and we didn’t communicate well on a few things and didn’t get back on our press, but we did speed them up. I think we forced a lot of turnovers off the press.

Just the fact that we did stuff that we spent a lot of time in practice on 3A second no paint touch drills. I think it’s important, I got on them before the fourth quarter. They have to not let anybody face, cut them, get in the paint. They can’t give up middle, middle, uh, lane drives.

They can’t do any of that stuff. Can’t let anybody post up 30 seconds. That’s the wrong time. And, and we, I think what we’ve done in practice was on display tonight with how good we were defensively.”

Coach Marvel continued, “I didn’t expect us to win by this amount but was very good and did kudos to my kids for stepping up and especially our bench kids. Addy Rotz comes in and hits some pig shots right off the get go. Ella Fink was killing it on the glass, playing great defense.

Ava Anderson did a great job handling, She probably had 10 or 11 rebounds. I don’t think she scored until late when she hit a free throw, but it’s like she did so many good things. That’s why she was on the court so much and defense has not always been her thing and the fact that she stepped up and did that, I’m so proud of her for doing that.”

The Braves improved to 3-1 with wins against Jacksonville and Hillsboro and a loss against Civic Memorial.

This week the Braves will finish off the Taylorville Holiday Tournament with games against Taylorville and Rochester.

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