A sign of a maturing and improving basketball team is the ability to finish, and after a couple of games in which they came up short in that important category, the Skyline girls’ basketball team finished off Lincoln 54-23 Tuesday night.
The Eagles, a young team with five sophomores, a freshman and no seniors, have been playing better – giving Saline (57-51) and Bedford (44-29) good games but not enough to shoot the game into the win column.
“We definitely wanted to bounce back with a strong performance against Lincoln,” said Skyline Coach Johnnie Horne. “We lost our first game of the year to Lincoln last season, and the girls wanted revenge, but more importantly we wanted to continue to improve.”
The Eagles got both on the night: Improvement and sweet revenge.
Skyline jumped out to a 13-8 lead in the first quarter and kept right on going in the second quarter, outscoring Lincoln 13-4 for a 28-12 halftime lead. The Eagles turned the game into a rout with a 20-7 third-quarter run.
And the whole team shared in the victory. Every player on the roster scored in the win – that’s a complete team effort.
Freshman Lauren Courtright led the way with 13 points. Sophomore Renee Faulkner had nine points; junior Gabby Salazar and sophomore Alaina Heetderks each scored seven; junior Marina Gkovatsos had six points; and sophomore Cammi Tirico scored five points.
“We have been playing much better basketball the second half of the season, but we kept coming up short,” Horne said. “We knew today would be a great chance to come out and get not just a win but a convincing win to continue to build our confidence for the remainder of the season and into Districts.
“We wanted to come out and apply pressure to Lincoln early and often to see how they would handle it. We had some success early turning them over, but we were a little sloppy early on with the ball ourselves which allowed Lincoln to stay close in the first quarter.”
The Eagles took off from there at both ends of the floor.
“We talked about staying aggressive defensively, but also taking care of the basketball in order to put them away and not allow them to hang around and gain confidence,” Horne said. “The girls did a good job of that for the remainder of the game to pull away for the win.”
Skyline plays at Monroe on Friday.