Grace girls top Knights

MARYSVILLE — The first quarter was not kind to the girls of Highland Christian as they visited Grace Academy.

The home team ran out to an 8-0 start and the Eagles could have inflicted even more damage — Highland Christian turned the ball over eight times before scoring their first points.

“Our game plan was to change defenses and put them off their guard,” Grace Academy coach Rick Holt said after the game.

Knights senior Chelsey Graber single-handedly brought her team back into the Dec. 12 game but Grace Academy nearly doubled its output in the final quarter to pull away with a convincing 36-20 win.

Freshmen Kendall Likes and Sondra Cooper helped build the Eagles’ early lead, scoring four points each of their combined 15 points in the first quarter.

Junior forward Lauren Krumm started getting a hot hand in the second half where she scored the largest part of her team-high 13 points. While Highland Christian remained within a field goal of the lead throughout the third quarter, Cooper ended it with a steal and a lay-up to put Grace up 19-14.

Krumm started off the fourth quarter with another basket to give her team a seven-point advantage. Graber answered with two baskets of her own, including a rebound off of a teammate’s missed free-throw attempt. But the Knights would get no closer. Cooper, Krumm and junior Sarah Wennersten would assemble a 15-2 run in the rest of the game to put it away.

Graber had a game-high 14 points for the Knights.

Holt, whose team often starts practice before 6 a.m. on school days, was relieved to finally have 10 players eligible in the game.

“We were able to rest and have players in the second half you want rested,” he said, adding that Krumm had totaled nine rebounds as well in what was her season debut.

The team still has a great deal of potential, Holt added, pointing out that two of his top scorers were freshmen.

“It’s just a learning process,” he added. “We’re still young.”

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