By Blake Faith
The Mt. Zion girls basketball team won its Apollo conference matchup against Charleston 54-39 last week. Denver Anderson led the Braves scoring a new school-record 37 points.
First off I am incredibly proud of the team battling in this game and getting a huge win down two starters and one other player in my top seven rotation,” Head coach Steve Marvel said. “Our press at the end created a lot of quick easy points for us and we did an excellent job protecting the ball, playing smart and making free-throws late in the game. Denver Anderson had a school record 37 points tonight which was huge especially with Charleston keying on stopping her. Our effort especially in the second half was fantastic. We did a better job defensively and rebounded better in the second half.”
The score was tied through the first two quarters 22-22. At that point Anderson scored 16 of the Braves points. Anderson started the quarter with a driving layup with Macie Fleming picking up the assist. Next possession. A few possessions later, Ella Somer found Anderson for another driving layup that put the Braves up 26-22.
The Trojans responded behind Kiera Campbell and Ally Logsdon. Campbell rebounded the offensive rebound and put it back up for a layup and then Ally Logsdon made a basket to tie the game at 26-26.
The Braves regained the lead when Fleming made two free-throws. Bracie Barnes made two free-throws shortly after to put the Braves up 29-26.
The Trojans responded when Ally Logsdon found Addy Logsdon who nailed the three-pointer to tie the game at 29-29.
The Braves regained the lead and didn’t lose it for the rest of the game when Kalliana Becker made a layup and Sommer gained an offensive rebound and made her layup to put the Braves ip 33-31. The Braves defense put pressure on the Trojans that turned into a Fleming steal. Anderson found the ball and was able to make a driving layup to make the score 35-31. The Braves ended the quarter up 36-31.
Ella Sommer had a critical offensive put back in the second half that helped our momentum,” Coach Marvel said. “Kalliana Becker played physically aggressive defense. all game and frustrated the opposition. We need to build on our defensive effort and rebounding from the second half and keep that effort moving forward.”
The Braves defensive pressure and Anderson’s 14 fourth quarter points led to the Braves outscoring the Trojans 18-8 in the fourth quarter. The Braves won the game 54-39. Anderson set the record for most points in a single game for the girls basketball program with 37 points. Anderson also set another record with 17 made free-throws in a single game.
The Braves improve to 8-14 on the season and 2-5 in conference play. Their opponents this week will be St. Theresa and Tolono Unity both at home.
“We played smart and in control late with far better maturity than we have all year. That’s a key takeaway from tonight. Along with the fact we scored and got a conference win despite missing three critical players,” Coach Marvel said. “It should help the confidence of the other starters and role players moving forward. I believe that Charleston saw who we were missing and smelled blood. Our girls responded and didn’t show poor body language or any negativity even when we were down several possessions in the first half. We grew as a team tonight and we need to focus on how we responded so positively to some adversity. I’m a very proud coach.”
By Blake Faith