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McCutcheon girls basketball tops Lafayette Jeff, 56-40
January 22, 2014Lafayette Jefferson High School
f there’s a positive to winter break ending, it is the rivalry matchup against Lafayette Jeff that the McCutcheon girls basketball team was looking forward to last week.
Weather pushed that game to Thursday night, and the reschedule date couldn’t have come at a better time for the Mavericks.
With a grueling upcoming slate that includes Kokomo, Benton Central, West Lafayette and Westfield, the Mavericks were in need of a victory.
It wasn’t perfection by any means, but McCutcheon’s 10-0 start propelled the Mavericks past Lafayette Jeff 56-40 at Crawley Center.
“We know this is a big conference game and we wanted to be .500, and we were excited to come out and play hard,” McCutcheon junior Hannah Burger said.
Gabrielle Gary hit two 3s in the first 52 seconds and Kerstyn Lowery followed with another as the Mavericks built a commanding 30-11 halftime lead.
Gary finished with 11 points and Kerstyn Lowery scored a game-high 21 for McCutcheon, which pulled to .500 in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference and overall. Becca Spitalniak added eight points.
“Gabby hasn’t shot the ball real well the past couple of weeks, so it was good because you could kind of see the stress come out of her face when she hit her first couple shots,” McCutcheon coach Jeff Knoy said.
For the Bronchos, it was a step back following a 54-53 loss at Kokomo on Tuesday.
The Bronchos took 26 more shots than McCutcheon, but shot just 17.1 percent (11 of 64) and put the Mavericks on the free throw line 43 times, where they scored 29 points.
“It was most definitely a step back,” Jeff coach Andy Baker said. “Against Kokomo, we played well for four quarters, the intensity level was there, we hit some shots and played great defense.”
Jordan Richards led the Bronchos (1-13, 0-6 Hoosier Crossroads Conference) with 11 points and Kara Homeier added eight. Julia Randolph had a game-high nine rebounds and Martina McQuay added seven off the bench.
Randolph, McQuay and Haley Carter provided a strong and physical presence in the paint that motivated McCutcheon’s bigs, and something they wanted to endure with the postseason quickly approaching.
Claire Weideman responded with eight rebounds off the bench and Burger added six rebounds to her six points.
“That got me going as much as they were pushing,” Burger said. “They pushed me around, and that got me going and I wanted to play even harder against them. They are a good team at being very physical.”