Mayfield used a second-half surge to pull away from host Shaker Heights in a 45-41 non-conference win on Tuesday.
The Wildcats (1-0) led by as many as 10 points late in the game and then held off the Red Raiders down the stretch.
“Shaker did a lot of nice things,” said Mayfield coach Cullen Harris. “They’re aggressive and athletic. We’d go on sparks and little runs and we just weren’t able to continue those runs and pull away when we needed to.”
The Wildcats led after the first quarter, 9-4, and took a 21-15 lead into the break.
Despite their early second-half run, the Wildcats were outscored in the third quarter, 19-14, but finished the fourth on a 10-7 run.
“We got it up to 10 with a couple of minutes left in the third and then we just stopped doing what got us to that point,” Harris said. “It’s just a matter of increasing our consistency and making free throws, taking care of the basketball, and finishing possessions. Those are all correctable mistakes. We’ll get there. It was their first game with the new coaching staff and with kids, you could scrimmage until the cows come home but nothing takes the place of live game action, and so we got that under our belt and we’ll see what that brings.”
Hannah Peterson led the Wildcats with 12 points.
“It felt great,” Peterson said of opening the season with a win. “To get a win for the first game of the season is a great confidence builder for the team. As a senior, this is my last ‘first game’ and I’m ready to carry this energy with my team heading into the rest of the season.”
Peterson and her teammates struggled a bit in the first half to find their consistency but refocused and played a much better second-half, even with a few mistakes down the stretch.
“In the first, we weren’t protecting the ball and made a lot of mistakes, so in the third quarter we slowed down, ran through our offense, and got good looks,” she said. “A couple of players got into foul trouble early and we turned over the ball too many times, which led to easy points for them. In the future, we need to defend without fouling and slow down and play our game.”
Gabby Moore scored nine points in her first varsity start and Alex Duncan and Nav Buttar both scored seven. Sincere Lucas finished with six points.
“We’re a work in progress,” Harris said. “We saw a lot of good things tonight and we saw some things that weren’t so great. Ultimately, for us to continue to work and reach our goals, we just have to keep getting better every day. That’s stringing together good possessions and stringing together good defensive possessions. That will come with time and experience.”
Mayfield (1-0) 9 12 14 10 – 45
Shaker (0-1) 4 11 19 7 – 41
Mayfield: Peterson 12, Moore 9, Duncan 7, Buttar 7, Lucas 6, Jennings 2, Moran 1
Shaker: Ruffin 17, Favret 11, Robinson 4, Crawford 3, Franklin 3, Walker 1
Threes: Mayfield 3 (Moore, Buttar, Duncan); Shaker 2 (Ruffin 2); FTs: Mayfield 14/29, Shaker 7/24