CARSON CITY — Carson City-Crystal’s girls basketball team used their signature defense to beat a very good team Wednesday night.
The Eagles, ranked eighth in the state in Class C by The Associated Press, held the Pewamo-Westphalia (P-W) Pirates to just six points in the first half en route to a 34-21 win in the Class C district tournament.
“I thought our defense” was the difference in the game, CC-Crystal coach Larry Farmer said. “We held them to six in the first half and we played fairly even after that. I thought our initial defense was the difference.”
Both teams couldn’t get their offense going in the early part of the game, ending the first quarter with a 6-4 Eagle lead.
But the Pirates (17-4) were held to just a Marlena Klein basket which came with 1:33 left in the second quarter. CC-Crystal (19-2) outscored P-W 13-2 in that quarter for a 19-6 lead at halftime.
Senior forward Mackenzie Geister had 10 of the 13 Eagles’ points in those eight minutes.
The Pirates turned up the pressure in the third quarter and got out on a 10-3 run in the first 5:33 of that frame. But the Eagles scored the last three points of the quarter and took a 25-16 lead into the fourth.
CC-Crystal made their free throws down the stretch to get the win.
Geister finished with 18 points and Tori Christiansen added 10 more for 28 of the 34 Eagle points.
“She took advantage of her matchups and finished the first half like the senior’s won a lot of games,” Farmer said of Geister.
Even though he had just beat the Pirates in a district game, Farmer had high praise for P-W coach Steve Eklund.
“He (Eklund) is a great coach,” Farmer said. “I think he should be considered the Class C coach of the year because he lost four starters, they play and win the CMAC (Central Michigan Athletic Conference), they had an outstanding year and a lot of new players in the mix, their sophomore, who was their leading scorer. They still found a way to compete. I thought he did a great job this year.”
That sophomore who was their leading scorer was Holly Simon with eight. Candace Martin finished with six.
The finals of the district will be the Eagles against Laingsburg in a rematch of the two teams that tied for the CMAC title in 2011-12. The Wolfpack had no problems beating Byron 51-26 in the other semifinal.
CC-CRYSTAL 34, PEWAMO-WESTPHALIA 21
P-W 4 2 10 5 — 21
CC-Crystal 6 13 6 9 — 34
CC-CRYSTAL (19-2) — Duflo 1 0-1 2, Christiansen 2 6-6 10, Schneider 1 0-0 3, McAlvey 0 1-2 1, Geister 6 5-8 18. Totals: 10 12-17 34. Three-point goals: Schneider. Total fouls: 11. Fouled out: none.
P-W (17-4) — Simon 3 1-1 8, K.Klein 1 0-0 2, M.Klein 1 1-2 3, Martin 3 0-0 6, H.Thelen 1 0-0 2, Arens 0 0-1 0. Totals: 9 2-4 21. Three-point goals: Simon. Total fouls: 17. Fouled out: none.