FOWLERVILLE – It took two early blunders before Lansing Catholic’s Maggie Jacobs got rolling.
A first-quarter travel was quickly followed by a double-dribble call. And then a trip to the bench. When the junior guard returned to the floor, she helped the Cougars runaway to victory.
Jacobs scored eight of her team-high 17 points in the second quarter to help Lansing Catholic pull away from Sexton and pick up a 69-36 Class B district-opening win Monday night at Fowlerville High School.
“Maggie doesn’t know how good she is at times,” Cougars coach Kacee Reid said. “She’s really hard on herself. If she misses her first couple of shots, sometimes we have to take her out and get her back on track, and tell her to keep shooting.
“Really, in the second half, she kept trying to drive and get it to other people, and we said, ‘Just shoot the ball.’ As you can tell, she’s a good shooter.”
Lansing Catholic’s win sets up a meeting with CAAC White foe Fowlerville on Wednesday in the district semifinals. Both teams tied for second in the league during the regular season.
The Cougars (10-11) have had an up-and-down year, and Jacobs said having just one senior on the roster, forward Meghan Gillespie, has led to some of the inconsistencies. Lansing Catholic lost six seniors from last season’s team.
“Losing our seniors really affected us,” Jacobs said. “We really want to play for Meghan this year. And even though our season has been up and down, we’re always like, ‘Play for Meghan, play for Meghan.’
“We’re really just playing for her, and not ourselves right now.”
The Big Reds (1-20) came into the postseason with some momentum, as the team picked up its first win of the year in its regular-season finale against Eastern on Friday. Sexton opened Monday’s contest with a 9-6 lead, which was spearheaded by sophomore Tori Blackman.
She scored nine of her game-high 25 points in the opening quarter and helped the Big Reds hang around after eight minutes. However, Lansing Catholic broke its lead open by starting the second quarter on a 16-0 run, and it took a 40-23 lead into the half.
Sexton was never able to recover.
“The way we played in the first eight minutes, it felt like we could get it,” Blackmon said. “Obviously, it got away from us. We pushed through, did a good job, and played as a team.”
Sophomore Devan Buda added 14 points and junior Becka Poljan scored 10 for the Cougars.
Sophomore Carshay Marillo scored five points for the Big Reds.
Contact James L. Edwards III at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.