LEWISBURG — Twin Valley South girls basketball rebounded from early foul trouble to pull away for a 57-30 win over rival Tri-County North on Tuesday, Dec. 22.
South grabbed the lead early and gradually pulled away with senior Mackenzie Neal leading the way with 21 points and dominated inside, pulling down multiple rebounds.
“I thought we started the game on a really good note,” South coach Lindsey Cole said. “We are a team that’s built off of momentum and we knew going into this game we had to build momentum and build it quick. We did not want to let them hang around. I thought we did a really good job.”
South held a slim 13-9 lead after the first quarter thanks in part to committing nine fouls and sending the host Panthers to the free-throw line multiple times. South eventually built a 30-15 halftime lead.
“We got into foul trouble early. That was the story of the whole first half. And we made it through,” Cole said. “I thought we played really disciplined, eventually. It took us a while to get there but the second half, going into halftime we were up 15, and we came out saying, ‘Look, we’re going to sit in a zone, we’re not going to play man; that’s too risky to foul.’ We did a lot better job on staying out of foul trouble. Also, we did a lot better job boxing out and rebounding and not putting ourselves in vulnerable positions to get into foul trouble.”
Maycie Davidson scored 13, including making a trio of 3-pointers.
“Maycie Davidson did a really good job on continuing to shoot. She had three threes. That really helped us out,” Cole said. “Our confidence, you know, we’ve only had one win before tonight. We really needed this win and as crazy as the game was, it felt good and it was a big, big confidence booster for a lot of our girls.”
Junior Abby McGuire finished with nine points.
“Abby did a great job of handling the ball and really she did a great job attacking the basket. She drove in and took it on up several times and I think she had a little bit of a breakout game in that term,” Cole said. “It was a good, balanced effort overall.”
South began the second half with a 12-3 run to open a 42-18 lead. They extended the lead to 51-32 early in the fourth quarter.
For North, free throws kept it in the game in the first quarter but also hurt the host Panthers attempt for a comeback later in the game.
“Overall, free throws, we got to continue to finish those that kept us in the game in the first quarter,” North coach Jessica Spitler said. “Even though free throws kept us in the game, it also took us out.”
She added her team, which scored a season-high in points, is young.
“We just got to learn to keep building, we’re so young. She’s playing five seniors and we’re playing a lot of freshmen and sophomores,” Spitler said. “There’s a lot of good things. That was the most points we have scored all year so that was good. Now we just got to keep pushing.”
Sophomore Rilee Terry led North with eight points. Senior Lexi DeLong added six and freshman Hannah Webster contributed five.
Twin Valley South is scheduled to return to action on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, at home, against Dixie. South will also host Arcanum on Thursday, Jan. 7 and will travel to Middletown Christian on Saturday, Jan. 9.
North was scheduled to play at Northridge on Monday, Dec. 28 and will host Mississinawa Valley on Jan. 2. North is also scheduled to play at Arcanum on Jan. 4.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 or follow on Twitter @emowenjr