HOLT – Danni Hanson would like for the East Lansing girls basketball team to capture another CAAC Blue title.
The Trojans took a step toward doing that by capping a big week with a convincing victory.
Hanson had a game-high 25 points as East Lansing posted a 58-39 victory over Holt in a matchup of CAAC Blue leaders.
The win was the third straight for East Lansing, which also knocked off CAAC Blue leader Grand Ledge on Tuesday.
“(This win was) very important for us,” Hanson said. “We need to get our conference wins if we’re going to reach our goal of winning the CAAC Blue. (But) also we’re just trying to take this game by game. We’re going to try to get better every game, every practice and just see where it goes in the tournament.”
West Virginia transfer and Michigan State signee Taryn McCutcheon had 15 points in just her second game playing with the Trojans. Jaida Hampton added 10 points for East Lansing (5-5, 4-1 CAAC Blue).
Western Michigan signee Kamrin Reed had 16 points to lead Holt.
East Lansing used a strong second quarter to take control Friday. Hanson hit three 3s during the quarter as the Trojans outscored Holt 17-4 to build a double-digit lead. The Rams were held to just one field goal in the second.
East Lansing rolled from there to maintain its spot atop the Blue.
“Every win is a big win,” East Lansing coach Rob Smith said. “Whenever you go to Holt and play, it’s one that you circle on your schedule. They’re a big rival. Okemos and Grand Ledge (are too). You never know on a given night. I’m happy that the kids were able to get the W. Moving forward, we have a lot of great games coming up. I’m looking forward to the improvement of our kids.”
Smith is also looking forward to what his team can become. The addition of McCutcheon, who was the West Virginia player of the year in 2015 and is regarded as one of the nation’s top-100 seniors, has energized the Trojans. East Lansing will also have a pair of transfers eligible soon.
“This is Taryn’s first week and we’re just putting in a whole new system to accommodate what our team is now with one of the best point guard in the country really,” Smith said. “That’s not an easy thing to do in a week, but we’re just spreading things out. She’s just doing a wonderful job making everybody else better.”
Contact Brian Calloway at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.