Lions Beat Middletown in Girls Basketball Thanks to Intense Defense
by Tanner Seymour
The time has come again when our Lady Lions face off against our perilous rivals, the Middletown Knights. Some of us who could not make it to the game may be wondering what it takes for both teams to compete at the level of intensity they display.
In order to perform at optimum efficiency, Sophomore Madison Hommey, Guard/Post, informs us that it is important to “practice hard everyday, and take care of yourself when the day comes.”
Even though hard work is an obvious asset in any sport, a smart team has a game plan for every obstacle that shows its face.
Head Coach Mike Mathis said that, “tough defense” and “relentless fight” of our players was definitely a key factor in our victory. The first to step on the court for our team were McKenzie Mathis, Mackenzie White, Ariona Johnson, Aurianna Dixon, and Anastasia Taylor.
By the end of the intense first quarter Mathis contributed five points to the Lion’s twelve points. Johnson scored four, and Taylor scored three. The Knights only mustered up eight.
Starting the second quarter off strong, Dixon hit a three-pointer in only thirty seconds. Getting frustrated, the Knights started fouling the Lions, but luckily nearly every free-throw was made. Around the four minute mark, the Knights made a streak of seven points. The Lions were sitting with a seven point lead of twenty-five Walkersville, eighteen Middletown.
Halftime entertainment was provided by the Walkersville Poms squad.
As the second half started it was clear that the Knights were not going to let Walkersville beat them without a fight. Starting the third quarter, Middletown drained a three-pointer. Although the Lions did not go scoreless, the Knights quickly caught up as they made eight unanswered baskets.
Hommey broke the streak by making a solid layup. Mathis upped her by scoring an additional three-pointer. By the end of the third quarter it was a tied game, thirty-four, thirty-four.
Johnson started the fourth quarter off with a layup but Middletown returned with two jump shots. Taylor made a contested shot and drew the foul, earning the extra point. She stood at the line and executed the shot perfectly. The Knights were fouled twice and gained three extra points. Ariona Johnson got fouled on a layup and drew the foul. She sank both free-throws and then the very next play, she sealed the game with an additional basket.
The final score was Lions forty-six, Knights forty-one.
After the game Coach Mathis reiterated, “Defense first is always the way to win.”
Johnson said, “It’s always exciting scoring a lot because it helps the team.” Then, when asked how much time had been utilized to prepare for this game she said, “at least five hours in the past week.” as she grinned from a winner’s high.