MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets committed double-digit turnovers Saturday in the season opener at home against Marion Harding, losing the first contest of the 2018-19 season 47-33.
“They’re quick and they’re strong, they’re physical and they have an ability to pressure you and turn you over,” Savage said. “It’s hard for us to practice that. … That definitely hurt us. We struggled getting the ball up the floor and even when we did get the ball up the floor, they clamped us pretty hard up there too. I’m going to give Marion Harding credit with their defensive pressure.”
The Presidents jumped out early. They implemented a press defense early in the first quarter and that hindered the Jackets’ offense. By the end of the first, the visitors had a 12-6 lead. Layne Lepley, who was battling illness and not 100 percent, scored all six points for Mount Vernon in the opening frame.
Both teams upped their scoring output in the second quarter, with the Presidents pouring in 15 in the second, while Mount Vernon was limited to eight, setting the halftime score at 27-14. Lepley kicked in another four points in the second, while Macee Marcum and Lexi Shaffer each had two points.
“The bottom line was, they had a veteran, quick defensive minded team and their pressure hurt us, as far as running our offense,” Savage said.
Returning to the floor, the Jackets made a bit of an adjustment in the locker room and were able to put in a couple buckets in the third quarter. They cut the lead to 10 and had possession with the opportunity to trim the deficit to single-figures,
“I thought in the second half we battled. We got it down to 10, with the ball,” Savage said. “We were in our four-to-score set, which kind of spread them out a little bit and we got some baseline drives for some buckets.”
Mount Vernon outscored Marion Harding 11-8 in the third, with Lepley and Marcum each notching three points. The Presidents made a change in the second half and began face-guarding Lepley to try and make her night more difficult, but she still continued to rack up the points.
Down 35-25 heading into the final frame, Mount Vernon was limited to eight points in the fourth, with Lepley accounting for four of those. Marion Harding finished the game strong, scoring 12 points in the final eight minutes to seal the 47-33 win.
When the dust settled at the end of the night, Lepley lead all scorers with 17 points on six buckets and five points from the charity stripe.
“Layne had a pretty good game overall with the pressure she was seeing and that face-guard action in the second half,” Savage said. “I’m going to give Layne a lot of credit, fighting through (illness) and playing most of the minutes and still putting up 17 points against that type of aggressive man-to-man pressure.”
Marcum was next on the stat sheet for the Jackets wth seven points, while Shaffer kicked in four. Celina Fritsch and McKenna Brokaw each had two points, with another point coming from Bryn Elliott.
Parkar Houk led the Presidents with 13 points, including eight in the final quarter. Ariyah Douglas had 10 points, while Justice Steinman-Ross chipped in nine. Megan Freeman and Nicole Flock combined for 11 points and Kashawna Horton and Mia Tinnerello notched two apiece.
The Jackets are now 0-1 on the year. They have a quick turnaround, playing on the road tonight against Danville, with a JV start at 6 p.m.