Balanced scoring helps Muskegon Catholic girls down Heights in Lakes 8 opener

By Dave Hart

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS – The Muskegon Catholic girls basketball squad doesn’t have a lot of players, but the few they have can put the ball in the bucket.

That balance has already served the Crusaders well in the new season, including Friday night in their first conference game.

The Crusaders, who have only eight players on the roster, had seven of them put up points in a 57-41 road victory over Muskegon Heights in the Lakes 8 Conference opener for both teams.

MCC overcame a one-point halftime deficit and pulled away in the second half.

Jakayla Anderson goes up for the shot against MCC’s No. 31 Hannah Ladd and No. 2 Kyra Tyler. Photo/Kristine Tyler

The Crusaders are now off to a 3-0 start on the season and 1-0 in league play.

“We have only eight (players) right now, but we have experience,” said MCC Coach Matt Callow. “It’s the first year we’ve had that.

“It’s refreshing that you can tell them something once and they get it. When they were younger we had to tell them multiple times.”

Talia Tyler shot 4 of 4 from behind the 3-point line and paced MCC with 15 points. Lauren Doriot added 12 points, Liz Isom chipped in with nine and Isabelle Bertolone had eight.

Rounding out the scoring for the balanced Crusaders were Kyra Tyler with five points and Zoie Price and Hannah Ladd with four apiece.

“Almost everyone scores for our team, which makes it hard for opponents to prepare for us,” Callow said.

The victory was a good conference measuring stick for the Crusaders, who along with Muskegon Heights are among the Lakes 8 favorites.

The conference will be very much up for grabs, according to Callow.

“I think both teams that played today will be competing towards the top,” the coach said. “But it’s a little bit wide open.”

The Crusaders jumped out to a 14-11 lead at the first buzzer after collecting six points apiece from Talia Tyler (two 3-pointers) and Doriot.

The Tigers were led in the opening quarter by Rahjanique Anderson, who had eight points, including a pair of triples.

Isabelle Bertolone goes up for the shot with Muskegon Heights’ Rahjanique Anderson at her back. Photo/Kristine Tyler

Muskegon Heights battled back in the second quarter, outscoring the Crusaders by an 11-7 margin to take a 22-21 halftime lead. Jakayla Anderson scored eight of the Tigers’ 11 second-quarter points.

The Crusaders put some distance between the teams with a 19-12 advantage in the third quarter.

Isom tossed in seven of her nine points in the third, helping MCC take a 40-34 lead at the buzzer.

The Crusaders nailed down the victory with a 17-7 advantage in the fourth quarter.

Four Crusaders scored in the final eight minutes, led by Doriot with six points.

Both teams missed a lot of shots in the game, but MCC didn’t struggle nearly as much. MCC hit 24 of 60 attempts for 40 percent while the Tigers made 15 of 60 for 25 percent.

The Tigers were led by the Anderson sisters, who scored 39 of their squad’s 41 points. Jakayla Anderson finished with 25 while Rahjanique Anderson added 14.

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