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Central Mountain girls now 2-0 after victory over Lewisburg

Freshman Ava Renninger connects on a buzzer-beater at the end of the first half. TIM WEIGHT/ For The Express

After trailing 13-7 midway through the second quarter, Central Mountain went on to outscore Lewisburg 45-21 the rest the way out to move to 2-0 on the season.

Freshman guard Ava Renninger posted a game-high 21 points as Central Mountain defeated Lewisburg 52-34 Tuesday night.

Wildcats coach Scott Baker praised his team’s defensive effort following Central Mountain’s second straight double-digit win to begin its season.

“We really had to battle through some poor offense in the first quarter and even in the first half. I thought our defense was pretty good and kept us in it,” Baker said “We think we can be really good on the offensive end, but I think we can be really great on the defensive end. But we all have to commit, all of the time for 32 minutes.”

Lewisburg controlled the boards in the game’s first quarter, as the Green Dragons outrebounded the Wildcats and held an 8-5 lead after one. The Green Dragons were able to get to the line at a high rate in the first quarter but found very little success. Lewisburg began the game one for six from the line.

Wildcats celebrate after 52-34 victory Tuesday night. TIM WEIGHT/ For The Express

Sophie Killbride, who snagged a game-high 13 rebounds for Lewisburg, scored to put the Green Dragons ahead 13-7 with just over four minutes to go in the second.

That’s when the Wildcats decided to turn it on.

Alyssa Fisher converted an and-one for the Wildcats after a turnover and cut the Lewisburg lead to just three points after the made free-throw. Fisher finished the night with 11 points.

Baker said Fisher’s lay-in was a momentum-changing play in the game.

“We really tried to press the entire time. That turnover in that moment gave us a little bit of confidence and we went from there,” Baker said.

The Wildcats’ zone began to give Lewisburg’s guards problems and Central Mountain took advantage of it. Renninger drilled two straight threes off of turnovers to end the first half and put Central Mountain ahead 16-15.

It was a 9-2 run from the Wildcats to end the first half of play after a slow start offensively.

Roz Noone knocked down a three-pointer to begin the third quarter for Lewisburg. Shortly after the Green Dragons took the lead back, Central Mountain turned to senior Avery Baker. Baker scored five points in two possessions for the Wildcats. She ended the night with nine points and eight rebounds.

Outsider of Baker, it was a solid third quarter for Alyssa Fisher. Fisher, who knocked down two three-pointers in the second half alone, helped put the Wildcats ahead 28-23 after three.

The Wildcats took care of the ball much better during the second half. The combination of ball security, and outstanding rebounding down the stretch allowed Central Mountain to grow its lead. Renninger, Baker, and Fisher were too much for Lewisburg to handle and the Wildcats held a 14-point lead with just over six minutes to play.

The three-point success continued late for Central Mountain, as did its solid defensive effort.

Baker knocked down two free-throws late to push the game’s final score to 52-34 in favor of the Wildcats.

Lewisburg coach Brent Sample said his team’s fatigue from Monday night’s game may have impacted the way his team played down the stretch.

“We knew it was a battle coming up here,” Sample said. “It’s a young season so we’re trying to figure everything out, we played last night. We only went six deep and in that fourth quarter we really lost our legs and they hit some shots. I think they’re a good team”.

Central Mountain 52, Lewisburg 34.

Lewisburg 8 7 8 11 -34

Central Mountain 5 11 12 24 -52

Central Mountain (52)

Ava Renninger 7 4-6 21, Alyssa Fisher 4 1-1 11, Avery Baker 3 2-2 9, Quinlynn McCann 4 0-3 9, Kiahna Jones 1 0-0 2. Totals – 19 7-12 52

Lewisburg (34)

Roz Noone 3 0-0 8, Hope Drumm 2 3-4 8, Maddie Still 2 2-4 6, Sophie Killbride 2 2-6 6, Regan Llanso 2 0-0 4, Lauren Gross 1 0-0 2. Totals 12 7-14 34

Three-pointers

Central Mountain 7 (Renninger 3, Fisher 2, Baker 1, McCann 1)

Lewisburg 3 (Noone 2, Drumm 1)

Records : Central Mountain 2-0, Lewisburg 4-1.

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