Girls basketball: Middletown Christian rolls in tourney opener

MONROE — Middletown Christian’s girls basketball team has settled in under first-year head coach Ernie Hayes.

The Eagles are playing their best basketball as a result.

Whitney Schauer scored a game-high 19 points, and No. 4 seed Middletown Christian quickly pulled away from No. 6 DePaul Cristo Rey for a 48-19 Division IV sectional victory on Tuesday night at Monroe.

“It was hard at first because we’ve had a new coach this year,” said Schauer, a junior guard “We’ve gotten adjusted, and we had to learn to play together. We’ve started clicking and gelling.”

The Eagles (16-7) have won four in a row and eight of their last 10. They’ll advance to face No. 2 Fayetteville-Perry on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m. at Monroe.

“Having a new coach and having to learn a new system can be sometimes challenging to go through,” Hayes said. “It’s different concepts, but I’m sure some of the stuff overlaps. ... The girls have adjusted well to it. It seems like they’re having a lot of fun and enjoying it.

“We win and we advance. That’s the great thing about it.”

Middletown Christian led 11-9 after the first quarter and took a 20-13 lead into the half. The Eagles utilized the inside presence of senior Hannah Geis to create their offense. Geis scored eight of her 10 points in the first half.

“We started to run our offense a little bit better,” Hayes said. “We set some better screens, some better plays, and got some better action and movement. We were able to take advantage of some of the opportunities that prevented themselves.

“The first half was inside. The second half, things got a little loose. They packed it in a little bit more, which you would expect them to do that. Then we were able to hit some outside shots. It expanded it a little bit.”

Middletown Christian outscored DePaul Cristo Rey 14-4 in the third quarter, and Schauer tallied nine of her points in the fourth quarter to help seal the deal.

“I think we’re playing pretty good,” Schauer said. “I think we can still step it up and play to our best. We started out kind of slow and got kind of tired, but we started to pick it up and played hard.”

The Bruins (15-6), who finished their first season under the Ohio High School Athletic Association, claimed the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference’s Blue Division championship during the regular season. Junior Jazmin Tubbs scored six points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead DePaul Cristo Rey.

Ross 38, Harrison 35: Ross led 11-4 after one quarter before Harrison took a 15-14 lead into the half, and the Rams marched back from an eight-point third-quarter deficit to capture a Division I sectional victory on Tuesday night.

Ross (17-6) has won eight in a row and moves on to face No. 1 seed Princeton on Monday, Feb. 26, at 5:30 p.m. at Lakota East.

The Wildcats had their six-game winning streak snapped, finishing them at 19-5. Ross knocked off Harrison 51-42 on Jan. 15.

Kings 59, Lakota West 38: Kassie Ingram scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds, Elise Marchal added 17 points and Kings beat Lakota West in a Division I sectional contest on Tuesday night.

The Knights (18-6) have won seven in a row and advance to play West Clermont on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 5:30 p.m. at Middletown.

Caroline Bayliff had 17 points to lead the Firebirds, who finished the season 17-7. Lakota West graduates seniors Kelsey Rolling, Madison Parker and Lily Johnson.

Badin 55, Mercy McAuley 42: Badin has won eight of its last nine games with a Division II sectional victory over Mercy McAuley on Tuesday night.

The Rams (17-7) play Wilmington on Monday, Feb. 26, at 5:30 p.m. at Indian Hill.

Mariemont 47, Fenwick 34: Natalie DeMarco scored a team-high 13 points in Fenwick’s Division III sectional loss against Mariemont on Tuesday night.

The Falcons (1-21) graduate seniors Evelyn Smith and Makena Payne.

Fayetteville 65, Cincinnati Christian 35: KK Davis scored a game-high 18 points in Cincinnati Christian’s Division IV sectional loss to Fayetteville-Perry on Tuesday night.

The Cougars stormed out to a 12-0 lead, but the Rockets went on a 23-6 second quarter run to gain the momentum the rest of the way. CCS (16-7) brings back every player on its roster for next season.

Cara Rummel, Ryley Kleemeyer and Scarlett Crawford each scored 12 points to pace Fayetteville-Perry, which plays Middletown Christian on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m. at Monroe.

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