Girls Basketball: Bay holds off International in BCL Central opener

Bay senior Mary MacLeod drives to the basket against International on Jan. 5 at Letterman Gym. (Photo by Doug Ko)

Bay senior Mary MacLeod drives to the basket against International on Tuesday at Letterman Gym. (Photo by Doug Ko)

By Josh Levine

Mary MacLeod led Bay School with 21 points, as the Breakers beat visiting International High School 46-41 in both teams’ Bay Counties League Central opener on Tuesday at Letterman Gym.

The Breakers (9-4, 1-0) outscored the Jaguars (7-4, 0-1) 10-0 in the third quarter to open up an 18 point lead going in to the fourth quarter, which International would not be able to recover from.

International's Natalie Kelly breaks away from a Bay defender after a steal on Tuesday Letterman Gym. (Photo by Doug Ko)

“In the third quarter we played what I would call lockdown defense,” said Bay head coach Larry Minnich. “Our biggest positive today was our defense, especially in the third quarter.”

The Jaguars outscored the Breakers 20-7 in the fourth quarter, but key baskets by MacLeod and Bayley McMillan kept the Jaguars from completing the comeback.

Natalie Kelly led the Jaguars in scoring with 18 points and Denia Ebersole scored nine of her 15 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough.

“We have seven freshmen and one senior on this team. We are a very young team that is still developing our identity,” said International head coach Charlene Murphy. “Even though Denia missed a lot of shots, it is not her responsibility to carry the team. We win and lose as one team.”

Bay won despite having 26 turnovers, a problem that Minnich has grown accustomed to.

“I would say that is about average,” Minnich said. “I would say about half are caused by us and the other half caused by our opponents. It’s an obvious issue we have to fix. I tell the girls all the time, if we take care of the unforced errors we will be fine.”

The close loss is a similar feeling for the Jaguars, who have lost three games by five points or less.

“We’re always in close games and we get looks, we just don’t make them,” Murphy said. “If we improve our basic fundamentals, we can be a good team. Bay is a solid team and full of veteran players. We need to get a consistent offense and strong leadership and we can be a strong team like Bay.”

International continues league play on Thursday against Leadership. Bay also continues league play on Friday at Gateway.

Leading Scorers

Mary MacLeod – 21
Clara Cardillo – 8
Kelsey MacLeod – 6
Bayley McMillan – 3
Four tied with 2 points

Natalie Kelly – 18
Denia Ebersole – 15
Four tied with 2 points

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