LOUISVILLE – Malcolm kept the momentum on its side from opening tip to final whistle against the Louisville girls Friday night.

The Clippers used a quick start to contain the Lions 42-32 in the LHS gym. Malcolm led 14-1 after the first period and held Louisville to five points in the opening half. LHS cut the gap to six points twice during the second half but was unable to complete the comeback attempt.

“We just weren’t ready to play at the beginning of the game tonight,” Louisville head coach Wally Johnson said. “They came out and played with more energy and with more of a physical presence than we did, and that created too big of a hole to dig ourselves out of.

“I’m disappointed in the way we approached the game tonight. We had to come out and play well from the very beginning, because Malcolm’s a team that always plays hard for all four quarters.”

Malcolm (7-2) relied on a balanced scoring attack to build a big lead in the early going. Alyssa Fortik, Diamond Sedlak and Jasmine Small all played major roles on offense. Fortik ended the game with ten points, Small scored nine points and Sedlak had eight points.

Louisville (4-6) began to find its offensive rhythm late in the third quarter. Faye Jacobsen and Sagan Leach both scored on putbacks, and Jaylin Gaston sank a free throw after collecting an offensive rebound. A short jumper by Jacobsen with 55 seconds left in the period let Louisville get within 27-21.

Jacobsen’s assist to McKenzie Norris for a 3-pointer kept the deficit at 30-24 with 4:48 to play. Malcolm created a larger window of separation over the next two minutes. Jordan Denton and Fortik both drained 3-pointers and Small finished a fast-break layup to make it 38-26.

“The girls did a good job of getting it down to six points, but Malcolm has a very talented and skilled team,” Johnson said. “They’re very young at a lot of spots, but they had the ability to keep the lead tonight.”

Jacobsen helped the Lions with seven points, 16 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block. Norris generated ten points, four steals, two assists and one rebound, and Lauren Votta collected seven points, five rebounds and two steals.

Jennifer Katz ended the evening with three points, four rebounds, three pass deflections, one assist and one steal. Gaston tallied five rebounds and one point, Leach had two points and two rebounds and Brooke Smith scored two points.

Lea Kalkowski hauled in three rebounds and Erin Stohlmann grabbed one rebound. Skyler Pollock helped the Lions with her perimeter defense.

Malcolm     14 4   9 15 – 42

Louisville     1 4 16 11 – 32

Malcolm (42)

Fortik 10, Jo. Small 3, Denton 3, DeBaets 2, Ja. Small 9, Teut 2, Sedlak 8, Brown 5.

Louisville (32)

Norris 4-13 0-0 10, Pollock 0-4 0-0 0, Kalkowski 0-3 0-0 0, Votta 2-8 3-7 7, Jacobsen 3-6 1-3 7, Katz 1-4 1-2 3, Leach 1-2 0-3 2, Gaston 0-1 1-4 1, Smith 1-5 0-0 2, Stohlmann 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-46 6-19 32.

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