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MENDOTA — For the opening eight minutes, the Mendota girls basketball team was in lockdown mode.
The Lady Trojans held Rockford Lutheran without a field goal in the first quarter en route to a 15-point halftime advantage and held on in the second half to take a 48-36 Big Northern Conference crossover victory Tuesday in Mendota.
The Lady Trojans raced out to 14-0 lead before the Royal Lions managed their first basket from Alexis Lanquist with 5:10 left in the second quarter.
Mendota (4-2) went into the locker room with a 22-7 lead at intermission fueled by seven first half points apiece from sophomores Amy Devitt and Brooke Carroll.
“The first quarter was great defensively. We did everything we talked about. Even in the second quarter - our press wasn’t as great but our defensive intensity was there,” said Mendota coach Kevin Geldon.
“Defensively I thought we played great — and it showed. We held them scoreless in the first quarter and to only seven points at half. That’s a pretty good defensive game against a pretty good offensive team.”
Rockford Christian cut the deficit to 10 twice in the third quarter, but each time Mendota senior Karly Near responded with a 3-pointer to keep the double digit lead intact for MHS.
The Royal Lions managed to chop the Mendota lead into single digits at 33-26 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter following a pair of free throws from Lanquist and a basket in the lane from Sierra Riley, but a bucket in the paint from MHS sophomore Ally Bromenschenkel halted a 6-0 Rockford Christian rally.
The Lady Trojan advantage never fell below nine for the duration of the contest.
“You saw what they were capable of in the second half,” said Geldon. “But we just had way too big of a letdown and let them back in. That was our defensive intensity. They started outworking us and we got away from what got us the lead.”
“We talked about the Bulls game the other night where they had a 27-point lead and lost by one point and how it happens at every level. We can’t let it happen. We came out and we tried to let that happen. They were beating us to balls. Maybe they got chewed out at halftime and came out ready to play. We weren’t ready to play the second half and it turned into a basketball game,” Geldon said.
Carroll led the way for the Lady Trojans with 11 points in the contest and added five rebounds. Devitt finished with 10 points, Ally Bromenschenkel added 10 points and a team-best six rebounds, while twin sister Abby Bromenschenkel contributed nine points and five boards in a well-balanced attack for Mendota.
Haley Kittle was top scorer for Rockford Christian (4-2) with 10 points and also snagged a team-high six rebounds.
Note: The Royals Lions were without the services of 6-foot-5 senior center Emily Nylen, who sat out the contest with an injury.
Chris Yucus can be reached at 220-6995 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsChris.
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