It was the best week by far this season for National Trail’s girls basketball team.
The Lady Blazers cruised to three wins, all by more than 20 points.
Trail opened the week with a 57-29 win over Northridge on Monday, Jan. 13, before topping Cross County Conference opponents, Bethel (61-41) on Thursday and Mississinawa Valley (54-26) on Saturday,
“We got out to a fast start and that really set the tone for us. It was good for us to get going offensively, but we didn’t do a great job defensively in that first quarter,” Trail coach Troy Ferguson said. “The second quarter we did a better job and only allowed 3 points, but we struggled a little getting shots to fall. But the second half we got things going again with 33 second half points.”
Kate Deaton led the way with 22 points and 9 rebounds.
“Kate continued to play well for us with the 22 (points), but a lot of that still comes from our guards getting her the ball more and in spots where she can catch and score. Miranda (Mize) also continues to get better for us and has been getting more shots to fall.”
Mized finished with 11 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Payten Laird added seven points and eight rebounds, while Lexi Acton chipped in with six points, six rebounds and three steals.
Against Bethel, Trail jumped out to a double-digit first quarter lead and never looked back.
Mize and Deaton each scored 17 on the night. Mize also has six rebounds, four assists and six steals, while Deaton pulled down a team-high 14 rebounds. Kaylee Simpson chipped in with nine points, while Acton scored seven, grabbed eight rebound and handed out three assists.
“This one was very similar to Monday night where we came out and got off to a great start offensively but didn’t do a good enough job defensively of getting after it,” Ferguson said. “Offensively, all eight girls that played scored and that’s a plus as we get deeper into the season to get more balance. Again, we were led by Kate and Miranda (who had a season high with 17) and Kaylee came off the bench and hit some shots and she is really starting to get more relaxed and hitting those perimeter shots that we are going to need too. It was nice to get another win, but we definitely learned that we have got to get better defensively.”
On Saturday, Trail got off to yet another quick start, this time outscoring MV, 18-2, while cruising to the win.
Mize had another solid game scoring 12 points, with three assists and four steals. Deaton added 1 points and four rebounds.
Andrea Hunt had a double-double, scoring 10 pts and pulling down 10 rebounds. She also had four assists and three steals.
Acton added eight points, five rebounds and six blocked shots.
“Once again we came out and got off to a great start offensively, and this time we got after it defensively as well only allowing two first quarter points and 12 for the half,” Ferguson said. “I was really proud of the way the girls played today, this was one of if not the best effort thus far in the season. It’s nice to get a little win streak going here to start the second half of the season and to get it the way we played today was really exciting to see.
“We shot the ball well and more importantly hit the open shots we had. We moved the ball really well and did a great job of making that extra pass to get good looks at the basket. Andrea played her best game of the season at both ends of the floor with her first career double-double and she played aggressive offensively which we’ve been trying to get out of her all season. We got the balance again we’ve been looking for and we’ll hope that continues into next week with three big games coming up for us.”
Trail was scheduled to host Carlisle on Monday, Jan, 20 and Miami East on Tuesday, before traveling to Covington on Thursday.
With the wins, Trail improved to 5-7 overall and 4-3 in the CCC.
“The lone blemish on the day was an injury to the left knee of Miranda with about four minutes to go in the fourth quarter, we hope that it’s just something that she can rest up for a day or two and be fine, but we’re kind of in a wait and see mode with it now,” Ferguson said.
Next week, the Blazers are scheduled to visit Northeastern, Ind. on Monday, Jan. 27, before hosting Preble Shawnee on Tuesday, Jan. 28 the 3rd annual Coaches v. Cancer Classic.
Donations will be accepted, there will also be raffle prizes, photo opportunities with Superman and Superwoman, along with t-shirts and other goodies available for sale.