The Northwestern girls basketball team improved to 8-0 on Wednesday night after the top-ranked Tigers defeated the Maconaquah Braves 88-25, and saw a school record fall on the night.
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead, thanks to seniors Kendall Bostic and Madison Layden. The pair scored the first 19 Tiger points before an Ellie Boyer became the third Tiger to score.
The Braves (2-4) scored their first bucket shortly after a timeout with 5:15 left in the first. Lilly Maple hit the shot, the first of four buckets she would score for Maconaquah.
Klair Merrell added two free throws and a two buckets for Northwestern and Kate Miller added a 2-pointer before Bostic closed the first quarter with an additional four points.
The Braves had more luck in the second quarter. Madison Wilson struck a 3-pointer to add the first points to the scoreboard in the opening minute of the quarter. In the final three minutes of the half, Maple and Averi Miller each hit a 3-pointer, and Brianna Hubenthal scored a layup after stealing the ball from Northwestern’s Boyer.
The second half started with Northwestern leading 50-13, and the third quarter read much of the same as the first for both squads. Northwestern’s size dominated on both sides of the court with the Tigers outscoring the Braves 22-2 in the third.
Madison Layden led all scorers with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals. Bostic added 25 points and 11 rebounds. Merrell added 18 points, a season-high, including going 4-5 from behind the arc. According to a tweet from Northwestern athletic director Dan Armstrong, Bostic started the night with 807 career rebounds and ended the night with 818 to become the all-time leading rebounder for Northwestern's girls program. Brooke Treadway held the previous record at 815.
“Rebounding is just something that has always been important to be and been emphasized here in the program,” said Bostic. “It is something we know that can start our offense. That’s a big focus for us, and I just took that to heart and want to make sure I did that for the girls.”
Tigers coach Kathie Layden added, “She [Bostic] has always been a force inside. She really has a knack for rebounding. I think the effort that she puts forth to go after rebounds is something that really stands out.”
The next game for the Tigers is Saturday as they travel to Dixie Heights, Kentucky, to play Kentucky's Scott High School.
“The unique thing about the Kentucky teams is they just started so that Scott team played their first game last night,” said Layden. “At this point right now we don’t really know a whole lot about them. We’re actually going to take [today] off, and we are going to rest. Then we will come back Friday, and we’ll get after it just like we normally do.
“We [have] enough things for ourselves to get better at. We try to worry more about our own game and prepare ourselves to play anybody.”
Maconaquah was led by Maple with 10 points and grabbed a team-high four rebounds. The Braves will travel to Eastern on Saturday.