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General History Section
McCutcheon, Lafayette Jeff girls eliminated from Logansport Sectional
February 17, 2014Lafayette Jefferson High School
McCutcheon’s girls basketball team picked a fine time to enjoy its best shooting night from 3-point range.
The Mavericks hit 10 shots from behind the arc against Logansport on Tuesday night in the opening round of the Class 4A Logansport Sectional. But it was not enough to offset Whitney Jennings, a favorite to win Indiana Miss Basketball, and running mate Nakeya Penny in the Berries’ 60-49 victory.
“We haven’t shot it that well in a couple of years, probably,” McCutcheon coach Jeff Knoy said. “Becca (Spitalniak) hit about three or four in a row there. They were bombs. That got us right back in the game.”
Spitalniak, a 5-foot-11 junior guard, went 5 of 8 from 3-point range and contributed 19 points and 12 rebounds for McCutcheon before fouling out with 1:10 to play.
The Mavericks needed all the 3s they could get, because the Berries got off to a fast start behind Jennings.
After scoring 10 points in the first quarter and launching Logansport (20-2) to a 17-4 lead, Jennings began to feel the effects of McCutcheon’s physical defensive play. The Iowa-bound guard hit her first two shots of the second quarter but proceeded to miss her next 14 attempts from the field.
She also missed the front end of two one-and-one free throw situations in the fourth quarter. But like all outstanding players, Jennings adjusted and started driving to the basket. She made her final three field goal attempts and finished with a game-high 30 points.
But when Jennings was struggling, Penny stepped up with eight points in the second quarter and seven more in the third to finish with 22 points.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Spitalniak and Kerstyn Lowery drew McCutcheon (11-11) within 50-46 with 4:15 to play, but the Mavericks got no closer.
Lowery finished with 14 points and Gabby Gary added nine for the Mavericks.
Minutes after the final buzzer, Knoy was looking forward to the 2014-15 season with his entire roster returning.
“We’ve got guards, we’ve got bigs that can bang,” Knoy said. “We’ve got it all together, but we’ve got to execute. Take care of little things and we’re going to be in good shape.
We’re a ton better from last year, and if we improve that much next year, we’re going to be a tough out.”
Lafayette Jeff coach Andy Baker has the opposite situation facing him in 2014-15. Of the 11 Bronchos to see action in a 65-51 loss to Marion in the opening game, eight were seniors.
But those seniors never gave up after falling behind 13-0 in the first five minutes and 27-6 after the first quarter.
“Twenty-seven points in the first quarter is going to kill any team,” Baker said.
But instead of rolling over, the Bronchos fought back with their bench. Senior guard Aliyia Kind scored 15 points in the second quarter, and with six points from senior guard Jordan Richards, the Bronchos pulled within five points before trailing 33-26 at halftime.
“I just don’t think those seniors wanted it to be over,” Baker said.
But double-double performances from Dejah Cyrus (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Julia Cardwell (11 points, 11 rebounds) and a near double-double from Vironnica Drake (17 points, 9 rebounds) were too much for even the most determined Broncho to overcome.
Kind finished with 19 points in her final game for Lafayette Jeff (1-20).