2/1/2017 1:16:00 AM GIRLS BASKETBALL: Branham leads Heights past Guerin
TIPTON - The Hamilton Heights girls basketball team had a 5'3" junior step up in the absence of the Huskies leading scorer Kayla Kirtley.
Lexi Branham beat out her average by 10 points, finishing with 15 points in Tuesday's Sectional 24 match up against county foe Guerin Catholic. Heights came out on top, 37-18.
Branham went 6-for-10 from the field in her highest scoring game of the season. The team followed her lead starting in the second quarter when Heights extended their advantage from 5-3 to 18-7 by halftime and continued to lead throughout the second half. Still, Guerin held Heights to just 10 and nine points in the third and fourth, avoiding a repeat of their 56-14 loss they had to Heights earlier in the season.
"We did a lot of things right defensively," Golden Eagle head coach Dave Roth said. "Our goal was to keep the score in a manageable state but we could not get our offense going."
Golden Eagles Nicole Cunningham, Sydney Geis and Danielle Mason each finished with four points.
"Nicole did a great job off the bench and our senior starters played well," he added. "Geis did a wonderful job of driving to the basket and getting fouled."
While the Guerin offense could not spark, Heights' Ana Collar stalled any rally with her 10 rebounds. Overall, the teams shot around 38 percent but Heights had 20 more shots than Guerin.
"Overall, we put together the best four quarters of the season," Roth said. "It was good to see us ending on a high note."
Guerin finished at a 7-18 record while Hamilton Heights moves to 14-9 and will face Tipton in the sectional semi-finals. They played Tipton on Jan. 14 and defeated them 51-21.