Prep girls' basketball: Skyline defeats Murray with stellar defense
In the midst of a handcuffing 15-0 run, Skyline junior guard Mia Mortensen shuffled step for step with Murray's leading scorer, Brittney Golder.
She anticipated Golder's move and took a brief step back.
The Spartan lost her footing and Mortensen was there to scoop up the ball and start a fast break. She ran the length of the floor, eventually receiving the ball back before dishing it to teammate Olivia Elliss, who calmly finished the layup to end the third quarter.
"Mia is our best defender," said Skyline coach Lynette Schroeder. "She does a tremendous job."
Mortensen and her Eagles put the defensive clamps on visiting Murray in Friday night's 44-33 win, which pushed Skyline to 8-5 and 2-0 in Region 7 play.
"We've come out well," said junior guard Sydnee Taylor, who finished with nine points. "We've got to keep it up."
While both teams played a physical game, it was Skyline's defense that never let up, forcing a plethora of Murray turnovers and allowing the Eagles to get out on a run.
"We just knew we had to start out with a lot of energy," Mortensen said. "Especially on defense."
Job well done.
Mortensen pestered Golder throughout the evening and held the Spartan, who averages nearly 13 points per game, to a hard-fought eight points.
"I just was determined to stop her," she said. "That's my job Â to play good defense."
When the Spartans cut the Eagles' lead to seven points early in the third quarter, Skyline awoke from its brief slumber. Senior Carly Gilliland, who had a game-high 12 points, established herself down low, scoring eight points during her team's 15-0 run between the third and fourth quarters.
Freshman forward Baylee Leiter led the Spartans, who fell to 7-5 and 1-1 in region, in scoring with 10 points off the bench. The Spartans also struggled from the free-throw line, shooting 8 of 19 from the charity stripe.
When asked to summarize the night, Mortensen said it was just another game for her team and that the Eagles are still learning to play to the best of their abilities.
"We're on our way," she said.
Storylines Skyline 44, Murray 33
R The Eagles' defense dominates, holding Murray's leading scorer to just eight points.
• Skyline senior Carly Gilliland leads all scorers with 12 points.