After a disappointing league opener on Tuesday, the Wildcats quickly shut down the possibility of a repeat performance by starting Friday’s game with energy and intensity. Senior Sabrina Belquist found her range early, hitting three from downtown in the first quarter. While Belquist worked the outside, junior Olivia Lo slashed to the hoop, scoring 7 points of her own on layups and free-throws. More impressive was the Cats’ defense, holding the home Falcons to two 3-pointers in the frame with full-court pressure and stinginess in the key. After one, the Cats had a 18 – 6 lead.
The Falcons returned the favor in the second, holding the Cats to 6 points while putting up 15 by getting to the basket. Sophomore Jeanette Grasty hit a 3-pointer to keep the Cats ahead going into halftime, up 24 – 21.
The Cats cranked up their defense again in the third, limiting the Falcons to only 5 points on two baskets. They extended the lead to 8 with three-pointers from Belquist and Lo, while junior Ashley Poshard took advantage of the extended defense by finding some seams to the hoop. Cats up 34 – 26 going into the final period.
Belquist hit three more 3-pointers in the fourth, for a total of seven in the game (she scored a game-high 23), and with a put-back bucket from sophomore Natalie Anthony, the Cats were quickly up by 14. In the last three minutes, the intensity for the Cats started to flag, but Anthony’s tenacious rebounding stymied every potential Falcon run. The Cats held on for a 12-point victory.
The Cats are now 1 – 1 in league play (9 – 4 overall). They host the Wilcox Chargers on Tuesday night as the second week of league play begins.