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Louisburg 45, Metro Academy 36

It had been a couple weeks since the Louisburg girls basketball team was able to find the win column, but the Lady Cats picked a good time for that to happen again.

Louisburg hosted Metro Academy on Tuesday in its home finale and the Lady Cats were able to snap a losing streak with a 45-36 victory over the Mavericks. The Lady Cats picked up a big win heading into its final regular season game with Paola.

“Tuesday’s win was much needed,” coach Leanna Willer said. “We have been working really hard to continue to get better every day, so it was nice to see that get rewarded on the scoreboard Tuesday night. It wasn’t always pretty, and we are definitely working on cleaning things up a bit at practice this week, but it felt good to be back on the positive side of the outcome.”

The Lady Cats (8-11) used its defense to come out on top as they held Metro Academy to just 11 first half points and forced 18 total turnovers. Louisburg was able to turn those mistakes into 17 points, which turned out to be vital in its nine-point win.

Metro Academy came alive offensively in the fourth quarter with 16 points, but the Lady Cats built enough of a lead to win comfortably.

Junior Brooklyn Diederich led the Lady Cat defense with nine deflections and three steals, while junior Megan Foote had five deflections and two steals.

“I thought our defense started out really strong, especially during the first half,” Willer said. “We kept them out of an offensive rhythm and made them uncomfortable with our full court pressure. I think our defense got a little tired toward the end, and we allowed them to come back and score more points than we would have hoped, but we have been working hard on defense and rebounding all week long to keep improving. Our defensive pressure converts into offensive energy and points, so it’s always great to start off that way.”

Junior Madilyn Melton continued her strong play with one of her best games of the season to lead the way. Melton scored a team-high 18 points to go along with four rebounds.

Fellow junior Alyse Moore also scored in double figures with 10 points and senior Haley Cain had a team-high six rebounds in the win. However, it all started on the inside with Melton.

“Madilyn has been playing very well these last few games,” Willer said. “We continue to look for ways to get her the ball, whether inside the paint or on the perimeter. She has taken on the workload very well and she is working hard to try new moves and positions.

“Madilyn has also done a much better job of recognizing when she needs to take the ball to the rack and when she should kick it back out to a teammate – this opens a lot of things up for the rest of the team and creates more opportunities for our offense to be successful.”

The Lady Cats’ offense got kick-started in the second half. Louisburg built a double-figure lead to start the third quarter on a 3-pointer from senior Sydni Keagle and then built a 14-point advantage going into the fourth to all but seal the win.

Louisburg will try and finish out its season with two straight wins Friday when it travels to Paola for its regular season finale. The Panthers beat the Lady Cats earlier in the year on a last-second shot and Louisburg is hoping for a revenge win of its own.

“We are very much looking forward to have another shot at Paola,” Willer said. “When we first played this season, our heads were all over the place. We fought hard, but lost a heartbreaker in the end. Going into tomorrow’s game, we are feeling much more confident in the work we’ve put in both on and off the court to be the best team we can be. May the best team win.”

 

LOU               13           5             16           11 – 45

MA                8             3             9             16 – 36

LOUISBURG (8-11): Madilyn Melton 7-11 3-3 18; Alyse Moore 3-9 4-8 10; Megan Foote 1-1 3-5 6; Delaney Wright 1-5 0-0 3; Haley Cain 1-3 0-0 3; Sydni Keagle 1-2 0-0 2; Brooklyn Diederich 1-9 0-0 2. Totals: 15-40 10-16 45. 3-point field goals: 5, (Wright, Cain, Melton, Keagle, Foote)