Miller Lady Cardinals respond to historic loss with third place

Miller poses with the third place trophy Saturday after their 63-37 third place victory over MCE. In the front row, left to right, are Keana Carver, Alexis Bailey, Kaylee Thom, Lainee Weiss, Hannah Boicu, Faith West. In the back row are Coach Ryan White, Kendall Neely, Rachel Nunez, Loghann Leivan, Ashlynn Helton, Chloe Hendricks, Tori Hollister and Coach Kaylee Helton. (Photo by Skylan Akins)

The Lady Cardinals have been one of the most consistent teams in the area and despite having defensive minded squads, the offense has always come through enough to get the job done. As a result, the Lady Cardinals have scored at least 20 points in 328 of the last 329 games dating back to 2012 when a 55-12 loss to East Newton eliminated them from the McAuley tournament. Since then, 18 points was the low point until Friday night in the Stockton Tournament in a 44-15 loss to the No. 4 team in Class 1, Chadwick. However, Miller would respond in perhaps their most complete game of the season the next day against Morrisville.
The tournament started Wednesday night in the nightcap against the sixth seeded Lamar Lady Tigers. Miller started fast behind 17 first half points from Ashlynn Helton. Miller continued to roll in what was a first round blowout, 61-29. The following night, Miller looked to exact their revenge against Chadwick that knocked them off at home earlier this year. It looked to be a tough battle early on as Loghann Leivan opened the game with a three, but Chadwick would lead 10-7 after one quarter. The Lady Cardinals of Chadwick’s vaunted 1-2-2 defense caused all kinds of issues for Miller in the second quarter as Chadwick outscored Miller 17-4 in the period and pushed the lead to 27-11. Things didn’t get any better as a bucket and two free throws by Leivan in the third quarter would be all the scoring for Miller in the second half in Miller’s historic loss 44-15. All eyes were on Miller’s ability to bounce back on Saturday as they saw a district opponent in Morrisville, and bounce back they did. Morrisville opened the game with a big first quarter fueled by Taylor Blehm but Rachel Nunez responded in the second. After trailing 14-10 after one, a pair of 7-0 runs in the quarter put Miller back on top 26-24 at halftime. Coming out of halftime, Miller showed great ball movement and team basketball and even though neither team hit two consecutive buckets in the third quarter, Miller opened up a 45-35 lead. Miller would then score the next 18 points of the game behind great defense and good ball movement offensively as they responded with a 63-37 victory over MCE for third place in the Stockton Tournament.

Miller improves to 12-6 for the season as they start to get into the heat of conference play. They opened the week Tuesday against 12-5 Pierce City, before they looked for revenge Friday against 12-5 Diamond after falling to the Lady Wildcats Dec. 2, 47-41.


Lawrence County Record

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