Basketball

Defense lifts short-handed Mack girls to victory

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File photo – McKinleyville’s Kylee Townsend, left.

A very short-handed McKinleyville girls basketball team got the new year off to a successful start with a 50-33 win at Deer Valley on Thursday evening.

The Panthers had just six players on hand with injuries and sickness severely limiting the roster.

“We were super-depleted,” head coach Tony McClure said.

That didn’t hurt the team defense too much, with the Panthers holding the home team to just 16 points in the first half and just 17 after the interval.

Kylee Townsend picked up some of the slack offensively with one of her best games of the season, shooting 7-for-9 and finishing with a game-high 16 points.

Sophomore Allie Egbert, who was called up from the JV squad for the game, had an immediate impact with the varsity team and finished with 10 points off the bench.

“I think we really struggled offensively today, besides those two,” McClure said. “But our defense was able to get stops and do what they needed to do.”

It was the Panthers’ first game in almost two weeks after the holiday break.

They are now 4-7.

They continue their road trip at the Lady Pirates New Year’s Shootout in Pittsburg with games on Friday against St. Francis and on Saturday against Eastside Prep.

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