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Girls basketball: Two runs lead Merrillville over Portage

Updated: December 24, 2012 7:22AM



MERRILLVILLE — A pair of scoring runs catapulted Merrillville ahead of Portage, leading the Pirates to a 57-35 win over their Duneland Conference rival.

Tied at six in the middle of the first quarter, Merrillville (4-0, 2-0 DAC) used a 13-1 run to pull ahead 19-7 by the 7:00 mark of the second quarter.

After Portage (3-1, 1-1 DAC) responded with a 7-0 run of its own, Merrillville would score 21 of the game’s next 25 points, giving the Pirates an insurmountable 22-point lead early in the third quarter.

Merrillville head coach Amy Govert said she was pleased with her team’s play during those runs.

“We were doing things correctly,” she said. “We took care of the basketball, we made layups and we found the open person.”

But outside of those stretches of play, Govert’s review wasn’t as positive.

“Everything that we were doing wrong we were doing by ourselves,” she explained. “We were making poor decisions on the break and committing unforced turnovers. It was a very sloppy game. We go through these spurts where we just have too many mental mistakes.”

“They’re playing hard. It’s not the effort. But we’re making things difficult on ourselves because of our decisions.”

AJ Downs led the Pirates with 16 points, one of three Merrillville players to score in double figures. Jaz Talley (12 points) and Victoria Gaines (11 points) accounted for the other two. But Portage head Chris Seibert said it was all five Merrillville defenders on the court that pressured his team all game.

“They played great defense,” said Seibert. “I think we’re a pretty good defensive team when we can set up in the half court and play defense. But give them all the credit. They forced us into turnovers, forced us to play quicker than we wanted to play and when they get out into transition, we can’t play in a game like that with them.”

Kaitlin Doud led Portage’s offense with 10 points.



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