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home : sports : sports Monday, May 30, 2016

2/16/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Saber JV team starts the new year with strong defense

By Ross Eberhart
Sports editor

A record-breaking night on defense highlighted a 2-3 start in 2013 for the Central girls junior varsity basketball team.

Each opponent found it tough to score on the Sabers, who allowed just 28 points during the five-game stretch, but none more so than Dyersville Beckman.

The Sabers set the tone of the game by blanking the hosting Blazers in the first quarter of their contest, and Central led 14-4 at halftime.

The third quarter ended up being very similar to the first as the Sabers again kept Beckman off the scoreboard and the lead ballooned to 20.

The Blazers scored three points in the fourth quarter and that was it as the Sabers set a JV program record for fewest points allowed (it was nine) in a 28-7 victory.

"I felt that all 10 of the players who dressed tonight were really tuned into our half-court man-to-man defense," Central JV coach Owen Hinz said. "It was another good win tonight, made possible by tough defense and near maximum individual and team effort - night in and night out, those two things will give you a good chance to win."

Two Saber players - Callaway Kinney and Brittany McNamara - outscored the Blazers by themselves. Kinney led Central with nine points and four steals, while McNamara had eight points of her own and three steals.

Victoria Gaston, meanwhile, grabbed 10 rebounds in the game, came away with three steals and blocked two shots. Emily Burke had three blocks to go with nine rebounds and two steals, while Jessica Machovec had four points, three steals and two assists.

The victory was the second-straight for the Sabers, who four days earlier toppled Mount Vernon in another contest dominated by defense.

Central built an 8-6 lead after a quarter of play, but things slowed down in the second quarter with both teams scoring just twice to keep the Sabers in front by two (12-10) at halftime.

The visiting Sabers defense took over in the second half, limiting the Mustangs to just six points over the final two quarters to bring home a 24-16 win.

The Sabers had some troubles with Mount Vernon's pressure defense, but Central took advantage of the opportunities it was given and knocked down more free throws (10) than the Mustangs attempted (eight) to bring home the victory.

Kinney and Gaston combined for 14 of the Sabers' 24 points with the former scoring eight with four rebounds and two steals, and the latter scoring six points with six rebounds.

Machovec pestered the Mustangs on defense with five steals and three rebounds, while Burke grabbed five boards. McNamara, meanwhile, had four points, four rebounds and three steals.

The Sabers started 2013 with a heartbreaking overtime loss at the hands of Williamsburg.

The two teams were tied at 19-19 at halftime, but the Raiders took the lead in the third quarter and with a little under two minutes to play in the game, the Sabers' deficit was in the double-digits.

Central, though, fought back, mounting a furious rally over those final two minutes to tie the game up at 39-39 as time expired.

The Sabers scored first in the extra period, but Williamsburg scored the next five points and Central ran out of time before they could rally again in a 44-42 loss.

Kinney had 18 points in the victory and tied a program record by having 10 of them come at the free throw line.

Sarah Schoel and McNamara both had six points (the former added four rebounds and both had two steals), while Machovec came up with four steals and three assists, and Gaston had six rebounds.

The Sabers showed their mettle again four days later during a home game with Western Dubuque.

Central got off to a very slow start in the contest and the Bobcats took advantage by jumping out to a 10-2 lead as the first quarter closed.

The Sabers, though, answered back in the second quarter and a 12-6 Central advantage brought the home team back within two at the half.

Central stayed within striking distance for most of the second half, but were never fully able to gain the advantage and Western Dubuque finished the game off at the free throw line in a 40-30 win.

McNamara and Kinney again led the way for the Central offense with 11 and nine points, respectively, while Burke had seven rebounds.

Machovec had five boards of her own and added three steals and two assists with Gaston adding four rebounds and two steals. Kinney matched Gaston's four boards, while McNamara also had two steals in the game.

The Sabers followed up the loss with their road victories over Mount Vernon and Beckman before falling at home in a tight game with West Delaware.

A third-straight victory was certainly in Central's grasp during the game as the Sabers led 34-30 with over a minute remaining in the contest.

The Sabers, though, would not score again in the game and the Hawks scored the final seven points of the game in a 37-34 victory.

Central led 7-4 after a quarter and doubled its advantage to six as the two teams went to the break.

The Saber lead got as high as eight in the third quarter before West Delaware rallied to pull in front in the fourth. Central bounced back to take the four-point edge, but it was the Hawks who made the shots during the stretch to bring home the win.

McNamara led Central with eight points to go with four rebounds, while Kinney added seven points and Burke, who joined McNamara with four boards, five.

Jessica Gilbert notched six rebounds with Gaston adding five boards, two assists and two blocked shots. Machovec also dished out two assists, while grabbing four rebounds and coming up with two steals.

Central got off to a good start in 2013 after ending 2012 on a high note with a close overtime victory over rival Maquoketa.

The game was, not surprisingly, dominated by defense as both teams failed to reach 20 points despite the extra period.

The Cardinals led 6-3 after a quarter of play and 9-5 at halftime before the Sabers pulled within two (12-10) as the two teams headed to the fourth quarter.

Central saved its best offensive quarter of the game for the end as the Sabers scored six points and limited Maquoketa to just four to tie the game up at 16-16 and force overtime.

The extra period yielded just two points, but they belonged to Central, who earned a nice 18-16 victory over its rival.

Kinney had seven points, five rebounds and four steals to pace the Sabers, while Gilbert had her own big game with four points, eight rebounds and a pair of steals.

McNamara also had four points to go with four rebounds, while Gaston pulled down six boards and notched two steals. Machovec came away with three thefts of her own, while also dishing out two assists.

"It took us an extra four minutes tonight, but we gutted out a hard-fought win," Hinz said. "Hats off to our girls for hanging on and finding a way to win. Credit both squads for a 36-minute defensive battle."

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