In the first round of the Thunderbird Classic Girls Basketball Tournament held at Skyline Tuesday evening, the eighth seeded Macksville Lady Mustangs were pitted against top seeded and #2 ranked 1A div. II Norwich, the Eagles starting with a 5-16 first quarter lead and going on to defeat the Lady Stangs 45-71.
But while the first half was lop-sided in Norwich's favor 15-37, the second half was a different story, showing a different Macksville team coming out on the court, playing up tempo basketball and out-scoring the Eagles by one 18-17 in the third quarter and staying close in the fourth.
We put it all together in the second half." said Macksville sophomore Tara Bunker. "If we start the way we end, we will win some more games."
At the beginning, neither team could score until minues into the quarter, with Norwich getting the first points. The scoring stayed low for the quarter with turnovers and missed shots plaguing both teams. Selena Galen caulked up Macksville's first point shooting a free throw, then Mindy Wood and Galan each scored a two-pointer, the score at the end of one with Norwich leading 5-16.
Macksville doubled their points scored in the second quarter with Tara Bunker, Galan, Karissa Langlois, Kristina Murphy and Wood each getting a basket.
Many of the Eagles' points came from the line, Norwich shooting 100 percent of their free throws. The score had Norwich leading the Stangs 15-37 going into the half.
A different Macksville team showed up in the second half - this time making seven baskets. Four of them were the old-fashiioned three-pointers - making the free throw after getting fouled making the two-pointer.
Much of this happened with the Lady Stangs turning up their game, running their fast break full tilt and scoring many of their third quarter points in transition. Kiley Freeman, Langlois, Wood and Bunker in all made 18 points, one more than Norwich's 17. The score after three quarters with Norwich leading 33-54.
Norwich out-scored the stangs 12-17 in the final quarter. Still, it was close in the second half with the Eagles scoring four more points than the Stangs 30-34. Norwich took the win 45-71.
The score could have been much closer if it weren't for the Eagles' phenomenal free throw shooting, making 100 percent, going 26-26!
Scoring for Macksville: Wood 13, Bunker 11, Langlois 10, Galan 5, Freeman 4, Murphy 2.
Free Throws made: 9 - Bunker 5, Langlois 2, Wood 1, Galan 1.
The Lady Stangs will move on to the second round consolation game on Friday when they play the Cunningham Wildcats, the game starting at 5 pm. Earlier in the season, the Lady Stangs knocked off the Wildcats 51-27.