Mayfield outscored visiting Lakeside by 14 points in the third quarter on the way to a 59-39 non-conference win on Monday.
With the win, the Wildcats improved to 6-5 overall and also extended their winning streak to five games.
“Since the middle of December, we have really come together as a team and this run has been fueled by just that,” said Mayfield coach Ryan Looman. “Winning is fun and putting things together and getting on a roll at this point is huge. Credit goes to our girls. We’ve got a lot of room for growth and they take everything in stride and want to improve daily.”
Mayfield got off to a good start with a 12-5 first quarter lead but the Dragons pulled to within 28-22 at halftime.
The Wildcats amped up their defense in the third quarter and that led to a 17-3 run that essentially put the game out of reach.
“Defense and transition fueled that run,” Looman said. “We buckled down on one end and that led to some run-outs and fast break points as well. Lakeside’s post player gave us fits all night so we were able to adjust our rotations defensively in the third and it helped. Overall, we played great team basketball during that stretch. Senior captain Ashley Dearden stepped up and got hot at the right time as well.”
Dearden led the Wildcats with 14 points while Uriah Jennings scored nine and Alex Duncan and Hannah Peterson each pitched in with eight.
Lakeside’s Hailee Aguinaga scored a game-high 19 points.
“I think we are pretty balanced and don’t rely on one person to do everything and in this stretch, it’s different people stepping up at different times,” Looman said. “I think that speaks to the selflessness of this team and the understanding that winning and winning together is the ultimate goal. We hope that continues as we move forward this season.”
Senior captain Olivia Nicolli scored two points and helped the Wildcats maintain their composure throughout the game.
“I have been very excited to win these last couple of games,” she said. “As a team, we are finally working together and accomplishing our common goal. We are playing selfless and showing what we can do. We are ready to take on more challenges together and hopefully have more positive outcomes.”
Nicolli has embraced her role as a team leader and she believes Mayfield’s five-game winning streak was the result of each player filling her role.
As a result, the Wildcats overcame a 1-5 start and are now playing with more confidence.
“The beginning of our season was a huge challenge for our team,” Nicolli said. “As we began to finally start working together we have all realized what we can accomplish. The key to winning our past couple of games is feeding off each other’s energy. We don’t rely on a certain player every game to make things happen. Each game certain people step up in different ways to help the team win. We are playing for each other and not for ourselves, which is huge in helping us win.”
While no single Mayfield player dominated the box score, the Wildcats had 11 different players score and Peterson nearly recorded a double-double as she finished with a team-high 10 rebounds.
“I was happy to see the effort late in the game,” Looman said. “We had 11 players score and all 13 players contributed in the stat book. To get some different combinations of lineups out there and see them react to the flow of the game was big for us.”
Mayfield hosts Hudson on Wednesday.