Central girls basketball coach Lisa Blalock likes when her team’s scoring attack is balanced, so she was happy to see three of her players crack double figures Friday against Southside in the Muncie Fieldhouse. And all three of those players reached double digits by halftime in what turned into a 76-25 win against the Rebels.
Jayla Scaife, Jessica Rowe and Madelyn Beaver each had 10 points by the break, and the Bearcats led by 20 points at intermission before pulling away to the 51-point victory. Rowe led the Bearcats offensively for the game, scoring 24 points. Scaife finished with 14 points and Beaver ended the game with 13 points.
“When we have that kind of balanced attack, it’s not just one person, that’s what makes us strong,” Blalock said. “And so, it’s great to see that. Just each one of them playing to their strengths. Jessica, she is such a force for us. She just leads the way with her hustle and her effort.”
Blalock said she thought her team was a bit too emotional early in the game, but it didn’t show on the scoreboard. The Bearcats scored the first 11 points, taking advantage of an early Rebel drought. Central (9-8) never relinquished its lead, outscoring Southside (6-11) by double-digits in three quarters.
“Once they settled down, I thought they gave a consistent intense effort,” Blalock said. “Which is what we were looking for.”
Rowe and Scaife allowed the Bearcats to take advantage of a size advantage in the post, with the pair combining for 38 points. They also combined for 28 rebounds, with Rowe grabbing 17 boards and Scaife coming down with 11.
They were also efficient, with Rowe going 10-for-13 from the field and Scaife shooting 7-for-15. They helped the Bearcats shoot 48.5 percent (33-for-68) from the field. Central held Southside to 10-for-49 shooting (20.4 precent) from the field.
“Defensively, (Scaife) made a big impact on what we did,” Southside coach Ryan New said. “Our kids looked scared and tentative at times when we drove. We tend(ed) to throw shots up to avoid being blocked by her. Some of it may have been our shooting, but a lot of it was her. We definitely changed our shots.”
Hadessah Jackson and Kaitlyn White tied for hte Southside scoring lead, each netting six points. Shelby Cumings grabbed 10 rebounds for the Rebels.