KYLE SHANER/Advocate photo
Mississinawa Valley’s Maddie Murphy drives to the bucket for a shot during a girls basketball game against Union City (Ind.) Monday night.
UNION CITY — A strong game defensively earned the Mississinawa Valley girls basketball team bragging rights over its crosstown rival Monday night, beating Union City (Ind.) 43-24.
Mississinawa Valley played strong team defense,which helped it overcome some offensive struggles Monday, coach Todd Murphy said.
“It was a solid game for us,” he said. “We struggled a little bit on the offensive end at times but found defensive ways to keep the scoring going.”
The Lady Blackhawks’ strongest quarter defensively came in the first period. After allowing Union City to take a 1-0 lead on a foul shot, the Hawks shut down the Indians for the rest of the period to take a 14-1 lead.
“We really worked hard in practice defensively, to get ourselves in position to be strong defensively,” coach Murphy said.
Maddie Murphy led the Mississinawa offense in the first period, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers, while Hope Neargarder, Brooke Collins and Elizabeth Livingston all contributed as well.
Union City picked up its offense in the second quarter while Mississinawa Valley had some struggles. The Indians cut the Hawks’ lead to 18-9 late in the quarter as Mississinawa Valley was limited to four points from Neargarder. But right before the clock expired on the first half, Victoria Humphries gave the Hawks a boost with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to make it 21-9 at halftime.
Coming out of halftime, Mississinawa Valley continued its strong defense, holding Union City scoreless for more than six-and-a-half minutes. In that time the Hawks were able to build a 34-9 lead with Mackenzie Dirmeyer, Murphy, Neargarder and Kelsey Lumpkin all scoring points. At the end of the third quarter, Mississinawa Valley held a 35-13 lead.
With the game in hand, Mississinawa Valley scored eight points in the fourth quarter with baskets from Collins, Neargarder and Dirmeyer while allowing 11 points to win the game 43-24.
“It’s really a moral win for us,” coach Murphy said. It keeps the enthusiasm high. It’s always that crosstown game that you’ve got the bragging rights for. I’m glad for the girls. I’m glad that they played hard and were able to get a victory tonight.”
Neargarder led Mississinawa Valley with 14 points on the night. Also for the Lady Hawks, Collins scored eight, Murphy scored eight, Dirmeyer scored six, Humphries scored three, Livingston scored two, and Lumpkin scored two.
Mississinawa Valley returns to action Thursday at Franklin Monroe with a 5:30 p.m. tip off for the junior varsity game.