For three quarters, Gardner Edgerton was able to contain Blue Valley Northwest junior forward Mya Mertz.
The fourth quarter, however, proved quite different.
Mertz started the quarter with seven straight points and had 15 in all in the crucial fourth quarter as Blue Valley Northwest pulled away for a 67-53 victory at home on Thursday night.
“She posted up, and we set some good screens too,” Huskies coach Brian Bubale said. “She was getting open, and the girls were seeing her”
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That seemed to be the spark that was missing earlier in the game when the Huskies and Trailblazers fought through 14 lead changes. The Huskies also had to weather a 10-0 run by Gardner Edgerton midway through the first quarter to keep up.
The Trailblazers got some hot perimeter shooting of Abigail Buie, who drained four three-pointers and finished with 18 points. Cassidy Androff added plenty in the paint, scoring a team-best 23 points on 11 field goals.
The Huskies held a narrow 29-28 lead at halftime and struggled through a foul-plagued third quarter. Part of the foul fest included a rare double-foul called on a pair of forwards who got tangled under the basket.
It was in the fourth, though, that Mertz got going.
The Huskies trailed by two points at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but Mertz finally started to find her groove. She converted a three-point play between a pair of layups that gave the Huskies the lead and then continued her attack. Mertz finished with 19 points in the game.
Her calm coolness seemed to spread through the rest of the team as the Huskies outscored the Trailblazers 27-11 in the final quarter. Lade Adepoju, who was the star for the first three quarters with 17 points, scored a team-high 23 for Blue Valley Northwest. Raegan Phillips joined them in double figures with 14.
With the victory, the Huskies improved to 4-3 after starting the season 0-2. They have won two in a row.
“I think it will really help our confidence,” Bubale said. “I was happy with the way we finished the game because we played smart, we took good shots, didn’t throw the ball away and played pretty good defense. We stopped them when we needed to.”
To reach Kathleen Gier, call 816-234-4875 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.