MCS girls stun Davenport

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By John Bernhardt
In almost every game this winter, the Margaretville girls’ basketball team has shown flashes of brilliance. Sustaining that level of play has proved to be the Blue Devils’ challenge. Last week on their home court, Margaretville put together a solid effort and stunned previously undefeated Davenport, 43-39.

In front, 8-3, Davenport squandered a chance to put the Blue Devils away in the early going. The teams suffered through a nearly four minute scoreless span with sloppy offense play and almost no shots on goal the norm for both teams. Margaretville center Sami Hunt ended the drought by outletting a defensive rebound and hitting Tess Svoboda on the fly for a score. The Wildcats answered when Jenna Lutz drove the middle of the lane for a basket. Davenport missed four consecutive foul shots just before the first period horn but led, 10-5, at the quarter break.

Lutz scored twice at the start of the second period to extend the visitor’s margin to nine at 14-5.
The Blue Devils fought back. Svoboda buried two foul shots followed by a Hunt putback to start a 10-point Margaretville run. Back-to-back Annette Hogan scores from behind the arc gave the Blue Devils their first lead of the night, 15-14, with 3:51 to play in the half.

The teams traded baskets with Margaretville completing a three-pass sequence for their sweetest offensive play of the year. Hunt hauled down a defensive rebound, fired an outlet pass to Svoboda who hit Hogan in full stride for a lay-up. That basket gave MCS a 21-18 lead but a pair of Melissa Sperry foul shots ended the half at 21-20.

Davenport regained momentum in the third quarter building a 30-24 advantage heading into the final eight minutes of play. The Indians seemed to have the game under control pushing the point difference to 10 at the start of the final frame.

Hunt was the Blue Devils’ catalyst for a second time, her putback starting a 13-point unanswered scoring spree that turned the tables for the home team. Kellsey Buerge hit a shot from the right wing before Hogan buried another three-pointer and, with 4:51 to go, the lead was down to three at 34-31.

Katie Short’s steal turned into an inside Hunt basket, then Buerge drove the middle of the lane to put Margaretville in front to stay, 35-34.

A critical time-out call by Blue Devils’ coach Kyle Holden helped seal the deal. After Tess Svoboda failed to connect on two free throw attempts, the Margaretville forward was fouled again. Holden called for a break, instructing his gals to simply relax, sit down and clear their heads. The advice paid dividends when Svoboda dropped in both foul shots, and the Blue Devils led, 37-34.
Sarah Haight got behind the Margaretville defense to slice the lead to a single point but a Svoboda drive to the hoop and foul shot helped keep the Wildcats at bay.
Svoboda led all scorers with 14 points. Hunt chipped in eight.

A sluggish start cost the Blue Devils two days later when Margaretville fell to Stamford, 43-38.
The Blue Devils couldn’t find the handle in the early going falling behind, 12-4, by the end of the first frame, a deficit Margaretville would never make up.
Stamford widened the gap to 10 points by the half and 14 points after three. The Blue Devils scrapped hard in the final frame, whittling away at the lead, but could draw no closer than five points, the final margin.

Tess Svoboda netted nine points and Hogan had eight for Margaretville.