GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL: Sabers beat Eagles for third straight win

LAKE LEELANAU — A big third quarter propelled Manistee Catholic Central to its third straight win Monday night, as the Sabers held off Lake Leelanau St. Mary, 77-61.

The combination of 25 third-quarter points while holding the Eagles to just 12 in the frame gave MCC (3-1) the lead it needed to hold on in the fourth.

“The defensive intensity isn’t where I’d like it to be for four quarters,” Sabers coach Todd Erickson explained. “The third quarter, they played much better as far as that goes.

“I thought offensively they were intense with the ball too,” he added. “They got it to the right spots, and to the right people for the right shots, so the third quarter was big for us.”

The teams went back and forth in the opening frame for a 19-19 deadlock, before MCC took a slim 36-33 advantage into halftime. The third frame gave the Sabers control of the game, and the teams again went basket for basket in the fourth.

MCC senior Haley Doyle had a huge night with 25 points, nine boards and seven steals while being helped by contributions down the line.

Alysha Heck scored 13 points with five boards and five assists for the Sabers while Amber Robke scored 10 with six boards and six assists, Ashlyn Jansma had eight points and five assists, and Meghan Miller had eight points and five rebounds.

“The younger players are playing quite well around the seniors,” Erickson said. “We’re in that retooling stage, but we’re starting to play together.”

Erickson said he couldn’t recall his program scoring nearly 80 points this early on in the season, but cited that there’s still plenty room for improvement.

“There’s little things in the beginning of all four of our games so far,” he said, “but then it turns into capitalizing on some things in the second and third, which have been our best quarters.”

MCC’s JV team moved to 3-2 on the year with a 37-20 win over St. Mary on Monday night. Jodi Janowiak led the Sabers with 12 points while Aurelia Stone scored eight, and Mia Hogan had a team-high eight boards.

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