Avon holds MCHS to 3 first-quarter points in win
The Mitchell Christian girls' basketball team knew going into the season it was on a learning curve. After winning just one game last season and going into this season with just one senior, head coach Jackie Van Laecken said she knew her team wou...
The Mitchell Christian girls' basketball team knew going into the season it was on a learning curve.
After winning just one game last season and going into this season with just one senior, head coach Jackie Van Laecken said she knew her team would have its ups and downs this year.
After winning two of its last four games -- the Eagles' first two wins of the year -- the team ran into a tall, experienced, two-loss Avon team Tuesday night, and the Eagles learned what the Pirates could do.
Avon scored the game's first 15 points en route to a 59-30 win over the Eagles in the Mitchell Christian High School gymnasium.
"We have to come out and play more deliberate ball," Jackie Van Laecken said. "They played good defense. Being a young team, we need to learn from a game like this."
Mitchell Christian didn't score a basket until there was just 1:24 left in the first quarter when Mackenzie Van Laecken hit a 3-pointer, giving her team its only points of the quarter. She finished with seven points
Kela Cihak had eight points in the first quarter for the Pirates. She was one of three Avon scorers in double figures, as she finished with 10 points.
The Eagles' second quarter was much better offensively than the first. Mackenzie Van Laecken opened the scoring with a bucket and a foul after receiving a nice pass from senior Natasha Klumb. Klumb, who finished with seven points and six rebounds, hit a 10-foot jumper on the next possession.
Cassie Bierman started to heat up for Avon late in the first and throughought the second quarter. She scored on back-to-back possessions off Avon steals.
"She's athletic and runs the floor very well," Avon head coach Brad Poppe said.
She also finished with 10 points and had four steals, helping the Pirates to a 29-11 lead at the half.
Mitchell Christian allowed numerous baskets inside during the second half, as Avon opened with a 15-6 run. The Pirates had six different scorers hit baskets in the third quarter, pulling out to a lead of 48-19 early in the fourth. Avon's Kala Rucktaeschel had seven of her game-high 11 points in the second half.
"We felt we had an advantage inside and tried to go there as much as possible," Poppe said. "I thought our defense was also a strong suit tonight."
The Eagles had their strongest offensive quarter in the fourth, scoring 13 points. Klumb hit two buckets, and Mariah Nelson hit two buckets. Nelson finished with a team-high nine points. Alexa Van Laecken also had seven points.
With the loss, Mitchell Christian, which shot 11-of-31 from the field, is now 2-8 on the season and travels to White Lake on Friday. Avon is now 6-2 and is at Andes Central on Thursday.