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Hot Shooting Cadets Down Monroe, 66-53

Photo by Seth Staskey Linsly’s Carleigh Grimm goes up for a shot over Monroe Central’s Haylyn Hiles during Monday’s game.

WHEELING — A team that plays unselfish basketball, solid half-court defense and knocks down 10, 3-point goals is going to be quite tough to beat.

Such was the case for the Linsly girls on Monday night.

The balanced Cadets saw nine players reach the scoring column, seven knocked down at least one, 3-pointer and collectively made life tough on invading Monroe Central en route to a 66-53 victory inside the Stifel Fieldhouse.

“It’s a total team effort for us and that’s what we’ve been pushing with this group all year long,” a satisfied Rebecca Upton said after watching her Cadets improve to 12-1. “I think we’re settling into understanding that we’re a team and the unselfish play is what is going to get rewarded, for everyone, not just one person. Everyone benefits when we’re unselfish.”

The Cadets wasted no time in asserting themselves on both ends of the floor.

Utilizing their distinct advantage in length, athleticism and foot speed, Linsly owned a 17-7 lead after one and really basically kept the Seminoles at bay from that point.

“I felt like we got some good shots early that we normally make, even layups,” Monroe Central head coach Troy Baker said. “We missed at least three or four of those, which was kind of the difference in the first quarter and even the whole game.”

While the Cadets had several players score, it was a pair of freshmen who led the way. Zaniah Zellous was as good as advertised on her way to a game-high 24 points. She had 11 rebounds.

Zellous scored nine points in the opening quarter and went for eight more in the second.

Monroe Central was able to hang around in the first half thanks to its defense. Senior point guard Kalista Friday posted eight of her game-high nine steals in the opening half, many of which led to run-out opportunities. She scored half of her team-high 22 in the second quarter.

In the second half — and third quarter specifically — the Cadets continued their barrage of bonus goals. Cook, who scored eight of her 13 points in the third, dialed up two from behind the arc, while Haley Heitz and Ally Hicks also connected from deep as Linsly stretched its lead to 52-39 after three.

“Linsly shot the ball tremendously from the 3-point line,” Baker said. “It’s very hard to play catch up with a team that is shooting as well as Linsly did.”

After Zellous and Cook’s production, senior post Carleigh Grimm was once again solid with seven points and played impressive post defense on the Seminoles’ bigs.

Friday’s production was complemented by Trista Morris and Haylyn Hiles. They went for 11 and 10 points respectively.

Both teams return to the floor later in the week with stern tests awaiting. Linsly will welcome Fort Frye on Friday, while Monroe Central hosts state-ranked Waterford on Wednesday.

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