Bronson girls can't hold the Mayo

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By Jenna McKenna

The Bronson girls basketball team played host to Mayo last Friday, the Lady Eagles' second round against this district opponent.

While they were no match for the Hornets, who boast four-time All-State player Natalie Land and developing stars Sunshine Reid and Cartaesha Macklin, the Lady Eagles showed their own hard work.

Playing without Elizabeth Gay, their main inside presence, Bronson fell to Mayo by 58-14, a substantial improvement over November's overwhelming 88-21 loss to the Hornets.

One possible reason for the Eagles' improvement is their policy of shooting more – a lot more.

On most possessions, particularly in the first half, the team swung the ball around a few times – not too much – then settled down and shot it.

With Mayo swarming the lane, the Eagles didn't penetrate much, just sent bombs away from outside the arc. Ashley Thomas was robbed of a good three-pointed when it bounced off a basket support before falling through the mesh, but Sarah Parkins made her next shot for two.

Thomas went to the line after a penetrating drive and sank both free throws, then a short time later, got her own rebound and finished. The Eagles got some second chances from alert defense.

Mayo was also busy in the first quarter as Macklin racked up the lion's share of her team's points in their 23-6 lead.

Jessica Thomas started the Eagles off with a layup in the second quarter. Bronson kept playing defense, so Mayo didn't get too far away in the early minutes. Rasheeda Johnson got a fast-break layup, but then the Hornets went on a scoring flurry as Takisha Cherry, Taquelia Macklin and Toquita Gandy went to the rack one after another.

Bronson pressed, and Cierra Elton got a turnaround jumper to fall before Mayo's Reid sent one down from outside, sending the teams to the locker room with Mayo leading 39-12.

Mayo's policy is to slam the door quickly on opponents, and this game was no exception. The clock began to run early in the third quarter as Land, who had dished away almost the whole first half, began to shoot. Starting from the free throw line, Land swished two, then went berserk on the boards, and finished by driving up the middle. Land had 10 of Mayo's 16 third quarter points, augmented by Reid and Sharonda Cherry.

The third quarter onslaught was overwhelming to the Eagles, but they revived enough to drive a little in the fourth. Johnson and Parkins went to the line a total of three times, and Johnson made two of two to bring the Eagles up to 14 points.

The Bronson girls are improving, and look good for the back half of their season. As players return from winter holidays and conditioning ramps back up, look for the Lady Eagles to challenge all comers.

Leading scorers:

Bronson: Ashley Thomas 4. Mayo: Natalie Land, 14; Cartaesha Macklin, 12; Sunshine Reid, 11.