Skip to content

Mid-range shots help North County pull away

BONNE TERRE – The North County girls basketball team added an elusive and needed element to its offensive arsenal, and sophomore standout Kayleigh Winch reaped the benefit.

A series of mid-range jumpers helped the Lady Raiders create some separation and eventually prevail 58-39 over visiting Arcadia Valley on Tuesday night.

Winch netted 11 of her game-high 27 points during a third quarter that North County dominated by a 22-6 scoring margin. She also claimed 11 rebounds and four steals in the victory.

The home team successfully found openings to throw entry passes into its skilled center, but not before first loosening the Arcadia Valley defense with timely baskets from other sources.

Freshman Ella Gant finished with 13 points, and Julia Christopher provided eight points, six rebounds and five assists for the Lady Raiders (8-6).

Jaesa Brockes posted 14 points, and Gracee Smith added 10 while converting 7-of-8 free throws to pace Arcadia Valley. Senior forward Makayla Moise had a game-high 13 rebounds with seven points.

The Lady Tigers (6-8) were on the positive side of an 11-3 foul disparity during the first half, but could not equal the ensuing scoring production in the paint from Winch.

Winch capped the first quarter with a 3-point play for a 17-11 lead, and scored twice on second chances early in the second. Christopher saved a loose rebound near the baseline to earn one such shot.

Gant added a putback of her own, and drained a 3-pointer as the difference expanded to 28-16. North County maintained a 30-22 edge at halftime.

Josie Landrum made consecutive steals out of the break, but Arcadia Valley failed to convert either into points. She had the team’s lone field goal of the third quarter on a driving layup.

Christopher dribbled the distance for a layup, and sank a jumper moments later that stemmed from her own offensive rebound. The focus then shifted to Winch.

Three straight scoring plays featured Winch against one defender along the low block. A free throw by Ciera Halton as time expired in the quarter signaled the largest lead of the night at 52-28.

But the foundation for a strong showing was laid during the opening minutes. Stephanie Peterson struck from long range ahead of a Gant jumper, and Michaela Mason added two baskets off the bench.

Arcadia Valley quickly trailed 8-0, but rallied when Katie Whited assisted three field goals by Brockes, whose corner 3-pointer cut the deficit to 10-9.

The previous encounter between the teams ended with a buzzer-beater by North County guard Alyssa Huber in a 53-51 MAAA tournament semifinal victory. Similar drama never materialized on Tuesday.

North County will travel to Farmington on Wednesday for a key Large-School division battle. Arcadia Valley will test its 25-game win streak in the Small-School division at Valley on Thursday.

North County junior Alyssa Huber (10) appeals for a call and Kayleigh Winch looks on as teammate Stephanie Peterson is grabbed by Arcadia Valley junior Josie Landrum during a rebounding battle in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night. The play resulted in a jump ball.

North County junior Alyssa Huber (10) appeals for a call and Kayleigh Winch looks on as teammate Stephanie Peterson is grabbed by Arcadia Valley junior Josie Landrum during a rebounding battle in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night. The play resulted in a jump ball.

North County freshman Ella Gant (45) prepares to shoot while crossing the lane against Arcadia Valley senior Makayla Moise (34) during third quarter action on Tuesday night.

North County freshman Ella Gant (45) prepares to shoot while crossing the lane against Arcadia Valley senior Makayla Moise (34) during third quarter action on Tuesday night.

Arcadia Valley sophomore Katie Whited releases a leaping pass over North County sophomore Kayleigh Winch during the second quarter on Tuesday.

Arcadia Valley sophomore Katie Whited releases a leaping pass over North County sophomore Kayleigh Winch during the second quarter on Tuesday.

Matt King is the sports editor for the Daily Journal. Contact him at mking@dailyjournalonine.com

Leave a Comment