NEW PARIS —The National Trail girls’ basketball team enters a two-week break from action on a three-game winning streak.
The team defeated Mississinawa Valley on Monday, Dec. 21, 43-30.
Miranda Mize led the Blazers in the victory, netting 13 points and pulling down seven rebounds despite not playing the final nine minutes of the contest because of injury.
The Blazers came out slow according to head coach Troy Ferguson, and the visiting Blackhawks took advantage by grabbing an 8-7 lead after the first quarter.
The Blazers responded in the second quarter and grabbed a four-point lead at halftime with the score of 21-17.
“I thought the second quarter we picked it up intensity-wise,” Ferguson said, adding, “after the break I thought we did a much better job defensively and getting better shots offensively.”
The National Trail defense really picked things up in the second half, only allowing the Blackhawks to score 13 points. The Blazers also held the visitors to 15 percent shooting from the floor.
According to Ferguson, the Blazers defense was helped out by a more patient offense after the first quarter. “Offensively it’s a theme we keep talking about, getting great shots every possession and being unselfish,” he said. “I didn’t think we did a good job of that early on, but again, after the break we were more patient and got the shots we wanted.”
JaLynn Byrd scored 10 points and added five rebounds. Evan Byrd had a solid all-around game, pitching in eight points, two rebounds and two blocks.
Katie Stan had seven points and seven rebounds.
Ferguson however will enter the long break between games happier after a solid team win.
“It was a good team win, everyone contributed and gave us something,” the coach said. “Hopefully this will give our kids some confidence heading into the second half of the season after the New Year.”
The Blazers are now 5-6 overall and 3-3 in the Cross County Conference.
National Trail returns to action after the New Year when they take on Carlisle on Tuesday, Jan. 5, before returning to conference action against Tri-Village on Thursday, Jan. 7.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter at aschmidt_RH.