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MONROE—The Eastbrook Lady Panthers, led by sophomore center Brooke Saylor, ruined AC's coaches vs. cancer game at the Hangar with a 41-34 win against the Lady Jets.
Saylor was cancerous in her own right, at least to the Jets' defense. The center was the benefactor of several lobs down low in the first half resulting in Saylor scoring 23 of Eastbrook's 25 points.
AC coach Sam Beer praised the play of Saylor in the game, "She's a good player. She made a lot of great moves down in the post. Our guards were spectators from the outside in the first half. I said at halftime that we just can't guard that girl one-on-one down there because she's just too good in the post."
The first six points of the game were all lobs from senior Kerri Guffey to Saylor resulting in easy lay-ups. On the other side of the ball, Adams Central was flat in shooting the ball and controlling the dribble. Briona Case hit a free throw with 4:32 in the first quarter to put the Jets on the board down 8-1.
A nice pass from Mary Fox Megan Salway for a lay-up was the Lady Jets' only field goal in the frame and AC found themselves down 17-4 after one. Saylor had all but two points for Eastbrook at that point as the Panthers tallied seven assists in the quarter, the same amount of turnovers from AC's end.
AC went to the double team in the second quarter to try and contain Saylor, while the offense worked to get better shots and take care of the basketball. The result was a 10-8 advantage in the frame for the Jets heading into the locker room down 25-14.
The Jets still struggled from the field for the first part of the second until Sarah Fiechter drilled a triple on the wing to bring the Jets closer at 23-12.
Despite the defensive adjustment, Saylor scored all eight points for Eastbrook in the second quarter.
"We probably should have made an adjustment earlier but I was hoping our defense would settle down a little bit," admitted coach Beer. "Our biggest concern was Kerri Guffey from the outside. I've seen her play and she hit a few big three against us last year and she was a solid player but this team executed well against us because they kept going to what we were giving them down in the post."
The Lady Jets, having been in this position before many times already this season, did not seem phased being down double digits at the break.
"We were down 11 after halftime and that's not impossible," explained coach Beer. "Sixteen or 17 would have been a bigger deal but just making a few stops and scoring a few baskets would have brought us back into the game."
Adams Central seemed poised to strike back in the third starting the quarter off with a solid defensive stop on one end that resulted in a quick two on the other end to make it 25-16. At a few points in the quarter the lead was down to seven including halfway through the frame when Bess Fiechter snatched an offensive rebound and was fouled on the putback. After the freebie, AC was down 29-22.