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John Marshall Girls Win Third Straight

Photo by Kyle Lutz John Marshall’s Landyn Helms (24) attempts a shot while Magnolia’s Lenieca Grimm defends during Monday’s game.

MOUNDSVILLE — Near the end of March, the John Marshall girls’ basketball team made it a goal for it to go 6-0 to finish the regular season. However, the goal was short-lived as the Monarchs fell to Brooke in their first game since they set their standard.

For coach Brock Melko’s squad, though, it did not fold. The Monarchs got right back to work and secured it’s third straight victory after defeating Magnolia 69-54 Monday night at the John Marshall Fieldhouse.

“We set a goal before the Brooke game (March 29) to win out and went up there and lost. And a team without any, I guess you can say character would probably fold at that point,” Melko said.

“All we were talking about going 6-0 to finish the year. To the girls credit, it made them more hungry and since that point are 3-0 and hope to grab two more to finish out the week.”

John Marshall was a force on the offensive glass in the first quarter as it had 10 second chance points.

The Monarchs kept things going and led by as many as 19 with 5:48 left in the third quarter after Madge Lucey bucket.

The Blue Eagles, though were able to trim their deficit to nine at the end of the third quarter as they went on a 13-3 run in the final 4:38.

“I thought they did a nice job of settling down with the press,” Magnolia coach Meredith Pilant said. “They were able to handle the ball a little bit better. We did a better job of boxing out and rebounding in the second half. In the first half, we gave up way too many offensive rebounds and let them get too many second chances. We were able to fight out way back with boxing out and holding them to one shot. We’d just couldn’t keep going. We’d make a nice run and then make some silly mistakes or have a turnover that ended up being costly every time.”

That was as close as Magnolia would get as John Marshall came out hot to start the final stanza.

Sparked by a Lucey layup, the Monarchs scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter to take a 57-39 lead with 6:52 remaining and were never threatened again.

“The times they cut it to 19 to nine, we kind of slacked off mentally a little bit in our half court set. But our goal the entire game was to make it a full-court game,” Melko said. “We wanted to press whether we scored or not. I thought for the majority of the game we were able to do that. The times they made it a half-court game, (Mady) Winters is tough to guard in the post.”

The Monarchs again had a well-balanced offensive attack as they had three players score in double figures along with one player with nine.

Lucey lit up the scoreboard with 21 points, a team-high to lead John Marshall.

“She could score zero or she could score in the 20s and she would be impossible for us to take off the floor. Scoring is just a bonus with her. You know you can count on her. She’s going to battle and she’s going to play defense,” Melko said.

Landyn Helms was also solid for the Monarchs with 16 points while Catherine Hunnell supplied 14 and Lakyn Groves chipped in nine.

Winters had a game-high 35 points to pace Magnolia while Jenna Blain supplied nine.

“We buried ourselves in the first quarter by giving them too many second chance points,” Pilant said. “And it’s hard to fight back after that. In the second half they did a better job of boxing out and holding them to one shot. That made of a difference of us getting back into the ball game.”

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