BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
BURLINGTON – The Central Lee girls basketball team hung around with No. 11 Notre Dame for three and half quarters on Tuesday night.
But Notre Dame is no slouch and proved it with a 55-46 win over the Lady Hawks in one of the few games still being played after the winter storm blew in overnight.
The Lady Hawks had several leads in the first half and trailed by just one point going into the locker room. Alivia Myhre led the way in the first half with 10 points.
Myhre would pull off rarity and outscore Mya Merschman in a game. Merschman finished with 16 and Myhre had 18 including four 3-pointers.
“She had a nice game. She’s starting to get comfortable and getting into our mix,” said Central Lee Head Coach Jay Baldwin. “She’s still a little green, but she’s dynamic and can help take pressure of Mya. Mya can’t score 40 a night.”
A bucket by Myhre gave the Hawks their first lead at 5-4. Notre Dame would then go up by as much as five, but Merschman would cut it to two with one of her patented rainbow 3s from the left wing. The senior would convert a couple free throws prior to the end of the first to tie it at 12.
Megan Harrell would return fire at the other end for a 14-12 lead after one.
Myhre would hit back-to-back 3 balls at 5:49 in the second to give Central a 17-14 lead, and a bucket by Makayla Morrison would push the lead to five. Notre Dame would cut it back to two on a Shelby Bowman three.
The two teams would combine to go 0-11 from the field over the next five minutes before freshman Lauren Krieger hit the front end of a one-an-one for Notre Dame. Katie Stephens would score just before the end of the 1st to give the Nikes a 23-22 lead at the break.
The beginning of the third quarter was the difference in the ballgame.
Notre Dame would hit on 5-of-7 to start the third, while Central would only manage an inside scoop from Merschman, and another 3-pointer from Myhre during the stretch to open the game little at 35-27.
Notre Dame would go on to outscore Central 22-10 in the period and pull too far ahead for the Lady Hawks to recover.
“The effort was there, just that third quarter – we’re still trying to learn how to win. We got down a few points and we started forcing the shot without a pass, or we were driving too far. They’re correctable things,” Baldwin said.
“Give them credit, they are good, but I think our girls kinda lost their legs a little bit.”
He said Central Lee hasn’t been in the gym in the past three days .
Both teams showed the lack of gym time at the start of the fourth as again, they combined for just 2 of 11 to open the final period. Myhre’s final three of the game cut the lead to 12. Merschman would score getting banged around in the lane to make it 54-44, but the Lady Hawks would run out of time.
“The lights are starting to come on,” Baldwin said. “They’re still flickering a bit, but they’re coming on.”
Morrison finished with nine points on the night, Macy Watkins had two and Ella Sanders added a free throw to round out the scoring for the Hawks (5-6 in the SEISC, and 8-8 overall).
Notre Dame now sits at 9-1 in the loop and 12-1 overall with the Nikes only loss coming to West Burlington back on Dec. 8. Karli Artman had 16 for Notre Dame. Katie Stephens had 12 and Gabby Deery had eight for the Nikes.
Central Lee hosts Holy Trinity in girls/boys varsity doubleheader on Friday night.