The Middle Creek girls basketball team was muddling through another troubling third quarter trying to hang onto a slim lead over Clayton when Julia Creasy exerted her impact on the game Tuesday night.
To power the Mustangs (1-2) to a 58-36 win over the visiting Comets (2-2), Creasy scored six points in the third quarter and 11 more in the final frame to break what was once a close contest wide open.
“We’ve had a tough third quarter every game we’ve played thus far and we just felt like, ‘here we go again,’ and we needed a spark and the light bulb just came on and (Julia) just took over,” said Middle Creek coach Wes Petty. “She made some big plays on offense and on defense that kind of got us behind her and we just took off from there.”
With turnovers becoming more common than points in the pivotal third quarter, Creasy was able to beat some of the Comets traps thrown her way to get to the basket and to the foul line to get the Mustangs some much-needed breathing room.
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Middle Creek then closed out the game by outscoring Clayton 22-4 in the fourth quarter.
Clayton coach Marlon Lee was most concerned by his team’s defensive display after solely focusing on the defensive side of the ball in his squad’s last practice.
“The intensity level wasn’t there defensively,” said Lee. “We just didn’t come out here and do it tonight. Defensively we were just out of sync.”
Middle Creek possessed just a 36-32 lead to start the final quarter but quickly put on a 13-3 run to start the final quarter to pull away.
Three who mattered
Julia Creasy, Middle Creek: The junior exploded in the second half netting 17 of her game high 21 points in the third and fourth quarters to help the Mustangs pull away.
Natalie McBryde, Middle Creek: McBryde was the focus of the offense in the first half for the Mustangs when she scored all nine of her points. She also added seven rebounds.
Au’Shanna Langley, Clayton: Langley was huge on the glass as she pulled down right rebounds to go with her six points.
They said it
“They’ve got a couple kids who are pretty athletic slashers and we thought that if we could keep them from getting any penetration, we’d be in (good shape),” Petty said. “I think by pushing them a little bit with that zone, it slowed them down.”
By the Numbers
16: Points Clayton’s Asia Todd totaled to lead the Comets.
11: Points scored by Middle Creek’s Cassie Beam.
23: Combined turnovers from both teams in the third quarter.
3: Buzzer-beater shots on the night. Middle Creek’s Cassie Beam and Makayla Patrick connected on three-pointers to beat the clock in the first and fourth quarters respectively while Clayton’s Langley hit a mid range jump shot at the end of the second quarter.