National Trail upsets Madison

Girls finish 3-0 on the week

By Braden Moles -

NEW PARIS — National Trail girls basketball (7-5, 2-2 CCC) capped off an undefeated week with wins over Madison, Mississinawa Valley and Newton.

To start the week, the Blazers upset Madison of the SWBL in a 44-34 win on Tuesday, Jan. 12. Madison was 6-3 entering the game and had won four of its last five.

Trail fell behind 8-3 early in the game but went on a 24-7 run to take a 27-15 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, Trail maintained the double-digit lead behind a strong defensive effort, allowing just seven points in the third quarter.

Entering the fourth with a 34-23 lead, Madison was able to trim it down, but the Blazers were able to hit key baskets and free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Skyler Ward and Lexi Benedict led the team with 13 and 12 points, respectively. J’da Jackson added nine points as Molly Skinner scored seven points. Rylee Minner also scored three points.

“Cait Gilland and Jenna Pettit were tough inside with their defensive effort along side Molly and J’da,” Trail coach James Byrd said. “Rylee Minner came up with a key block in the second half that kept the [Mohawks] at bay.”

Two days later, the Blazers traveled to face Mississinawa Valley in a winning effort, 42-20.

“Behind a great team defensive effort they were able to start strong and play hard the entire four quarters,” Byrd said. “Molly, J’da and Cait controlled the paint and the boards most of the game with help from Jenna. Skyler, Lexi, Rylee, Ashlynne and Maddie made things difficult outside.”

Ward led the Blazers with 19 points, followed by Skinner with eight, Benedict and Jackson with six each and Gilland chipping in three points.

Looking to finish off an undefeated week, the Blazers returned home to face Newton on Saturday, Jan. 16 and found a 49-29 win to move to 7-5 on the season and win their third straight game.

“Ten girls played and ten girls made nice contributions,” Byrd said.

Ward led again 15 points, followed by Jackson with 13 points.

“The team really shared the ball well as 14 of the 22 buckets were assisted on with Skyler dishing six [assists] with Lexi and Molly garnering three apiece,” Byrd said.

Skinner stole the ball six times and brought down five rebounds as Jackson also added five rebounds.

The Blazers were scheduled to play at Miami East on Monday, Jan. 18 and at Tri-Village on Thursday, Jan. 21.

Girls finish 3-0 on the week

By Braden Moles

Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles

Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles