Mayfield entered Wednesday’s Western Reserve Conference game with visiting Willoughby South needing a win to push above the .500 mark and to remain just one game behind league leaders Kenston and North.
The Wildcats jumped out to an 18-2 first quarter lead and cruised to a 53-25 win over the Rebels.
“Our approach for every game is to control what we control and have a consistent effort, energy, and focus,” said Mayfield coach Ryan Looman. “It doesn’t matter who we are playing, when, or where, we need to be consistent for 32 minutes. I think we did that for stretches tonight, but there is still a lot that we need to correct moving forward and our kids are understanding of that.”
South rallied in the second quarter but trailed 34-14 at halftime. The Rebels won the third quarter, 8-6, but that’s as close as they’d get.
“South gave a different look from what we’ve seen from the last couple opponents and I was happy with how the girls adjusted,” Looman said.
Point guard Catherine Rock led all scorers with 16 points.
“We started off pressing really well, which led to easy fast break points and in the half court sets, my teammates did a good job finding the holes and passing lanes in the defense,” Rock said. “Everyone on our team has their roles and typically mine, as a point guard, is to distribute the ball but some nights we each take on different roles depending on what the other team gives us. Tonight, I saw more opportunities to score.”
Rock was 5-for-6 from the floor and 1-for-1 from the free throw line. She also tied teammate Juls Consolo with a team-high three assists.
“Catherine is so fluid and that is fun to watch,” Looman said. “It was one of those nights where she made some nice plays, but a lot of her impact on the game goes unnoticed until you look at a final stat sheet or watch film. She’s a leader on the court for us and someone who can carry the load in many different ways. She has such an impact handling the ball and distributing, but she can also go off for 15 any given night so that was huge for us.”
Katelyn Kinczel and Leah Nerone both contributed eight points for the Wildcats while Julia DeBaltzo, Hannah Fredrickson and Bela DeJohn each scored five.
Kinczel pulled down a team-high eight rebounds while DeJohn had four.
“It was good to see senior Bela DeJohn give us some really solid minutes, especially in the first half tonight,” Looman said. “She works her tail off and the success she saw on the court was well deserved.”
The Wildcats improved to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the WRC.
“Each conference game is a step in the journey of where we want to end up,” Looman said. “Any misstep along the way can really hold you back and in our conference that can happen any night. We stress that the only opponent that matters is the next one and do our best to emphasise that game.”
Hailey McCartney led South with six points while Lexi Merk finished with five.
Mayfield 53, South 25
South (0-5, 0-3): Ward 3, Matriano 4, Weyman-Heller 2 , Merk 5 , McCartney 6 , Stewart 3
Mayfield (3-2, 2-1): Rock 16, DeBaltzo 5 , Kinczel 8, Consolo 2 , Fredrickson 5 , Nerone 8, Edwards 2, O’Neal 2
South 2 12 8 3 — 25
Mayfield 18 16 6 4 — 53
Free throws: South 9 of 16, Mayfield 3 of 4; 3-pointers: South 2 (Merk, McCartney), Mayfield 4 (DeBaltzo, Rock, DeJohn, Kinczel); Rebounds: Mayfield 26 (Kinczel 8); Assists: Mayfield 8 (Consolo 3, Rock 3)