Mayfield closed out 2019 with a 37-32 nonconference win at Lake Catholic on Monday.
It wasn’t always pretty and won’t be a game the Wildcats use as a highlight of their season, but back-to-back wins heading into the second half of the season is something head coach Ryan Looman hopes will provide some momentum moving forward.
“Focus is exactly what we preached before the game and I think that’s what some of our struggles boiled down to tonight,” Looman said. “We had plenty of opportunities to pull away and we couldn’t finish good looks at the hoop or we had some miscommunications defensively that let them get back into it. In all honesty, statistically, this game looked a lot more like a loss than it did a win. I think overall we weren’t very happy with the result as a team and that’s a good thing. With that being said, you always take a win and we will in do so in stride looking to improve tomorrow.”
After leading 11-7 after the first quarter, the Wildcats allowed the Cougars to even things up heading into the break.
Mayfield outscored Lake Catholic in the third quarter, 12-6, then held on for the win in the final eight minutes of play despite converting just 6-of-19 free throws in the game.
“It was a really ugly night shooting the ball, not just at the free throw line,” Looman said. “With the time we’ve had off, we tried to give them some time away to be with their families and take a mental break from basketball, so we expected there to be some rust and some struggles. Luckily, these are all things that can be corrected in practice and we’ll be sure to emphasize those when we get back to work on Tuesday. (Free throws are) another phase of our game that comes down to focus and mental toughness and we just need to work to find consistency there.”
Catherine Rock paced the Wildcats in several statistical categories.
She scored a game-high 17 points and recorded team-highs in steals, blocks and assists with four each. She also pulled down five rebounds.
“Catherine was our answer tonight and she made an impact in just about every way possible,” Looman said. “It took a little while for her to get going, but once she did she showed why she’s one of the best guards around. Her game tonight is the model for our team. The points were there, but to have five boards and four blocks to match her typical steals and assists just showed her relentless will and drive in leading us to a win.”
Uriah Jennings pulled down a team-high six rebounds and added eight points and Julianna Nicolli contributed with six points.
“We got some good minutes from Uriah Jennings tonight,” Looman said. “As a freshman, she’s coming along and going about the process the right way so it was good to see her reap the benefits.”
Mayfield 37, Lake Catholic 32
Lake Catholic (0-11): Skalicki 14, Hudik 8, Pecjak 3, Sassano 3, Mohr 2, Tallion 2
Mayfield (5-4, 2-2): Rock 17, Jennings 8, Nicolli 6, Edwards 2, Dearden 2, Harwell 2
Lake Catholic 7 10 6 9 – 32
Mayfield 11 6 12 8 – 37
Free throws: Lake 14/20, Mayfield 6/19; 3-pointers: Lake 0, Mayfield 3 (Nicolli 2); Rebounds – Mayfield 31 (Jennings 6, Rock 5) Assists: Mayfield 5 (Rock 4), Steals: Mayfield 9 (Rock 4)