By Bonta Hill
In the first round of the Urban Holiday Shootout, Bay School guard Mary Macleod sank seven free throws in the final minute as she led her team past Urban School to a 52-50 win on Thursday at Kezar Pavilion.
Macleod, last season’s Bay Counties League Central MVP, went 8-of-18 from the floor to score a game-high 33 points, but it was her clutch free throw shooting in the final minutes that kept Urban (0-8) from pulling off the upset.
“A lot of my points came off of open shots created by my teammates,” Macleod said. “We knew Urban was going to be scrappy because they always play physical, but they definitely stepped up and surprised us.”
Urban, which was led by Charlotte Blanc’s 18 points, certainly had their chances to tie in the final minute of the game.
Down 48-46 with just over 30 seconds remaining, the Blues missed three shots around the rim before Bay rebounded and put the ball in Macleod’s hands to ice the game at the free throw line.
“I told the team in the locker room that this is the first time this year where we’ve been kicked hard by a team and we didn’t implode,” said Urban head coach Hope Broadus. “We just have to make the bunnies there. We had four or five looks at the basket [at the end of the game].”
The Blues physical play set the tone early in the game as they went up 25-18 in the second quarter on the strength of their full-court pressure defense. Urban’s pressure forced Bay into 14 first-half turnovers, but the Blues couldn’t increase their lead due to a 4-for-13 performance from the free throw line.
“Our foul shooting is still a problem,” Broadus said. “Had we shot 55 percent, we win that game.”
Despite Bay’s poor ball-handling in the first half, the Breakers came out in the third quarter and became the aggressors, forcing Urban into six third quarter turnovers. However, the game went into the fourth quarter tied at 35, but the Breakers would never trail in the final frame to earn a date with Mercy High School in the next round, which beat Berean Christian 55-47 earlier in the day.
Both teams will likely emphasize security in the next rounds, as they combined for 41 turnovers.
“They did what they had to, hung in there in a very physical game,” said Bay head coach Larry Minnich. “When [Urban] fouled down the stretch, we made sure the ball was in [Mary’s] hands.”
Minnich wouldn’t be disappointed by putting the ball in MacCleod’s hands, as her free throws barely grazed the rim.
“My team worked really hard and we were running a full-court press, which really takes a lot of energy, Macleod said. “I didn’t want to disappoint them.”
Bay will tip off against Mercy tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the championship semifinal and Urban will take on Berean Christian at 4:30 p.m. in the consolation bracket.
Mary Macleod – 33
Alexandra Buam – 4
Julia Millhouse – 4
Angie Matarozzi – 3
Four tied with 2 points
Charlotte Blanc – 18
Lindsey Milgrom – 11
Lily Burns – 9
Carly Kuperschmid – 5
Jenna Waldman – 5