Myers Park High found comfort in the familiar.
The Mustangs ditched mixing defenses against Southwestern 4A rival Butler in favor of man-to-man pressure, igniting a 55-39 girls’ basketball win at Myers Park. After falling behind 8-4 early, the Mustangs, ranked fourth in the Sweet 16, reeled off a 14-0 uprising to close the first quarter and set the stage for their ninth straight win.
“We’re trying to play a few more defenses this year,” Mustangs coach Barbara Nelson said. “We were using three different defenses, obviously not very well, so we just went to one defense and focused on that and it seemed to help us get some rhythm.”
Myers Park didn’t break stride, pulling away to a 27-14 halftime advantage behind Kentucky signee Chanin Scott, who scored 13 of her game-high 18 points before intermission.
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“We just really took it upon ourselves to just play hard and finish, believe in each other and pass the ball,” said Scott, a 6-foot senior guard. “We were just doing a team effort.”
That effort was most pronounced on defense, where Butler struggled to keep pace with Myers Park over the first three quarters, which ended with a 39-19 Mustangs advantage. Although Myers Park took on foul trouble and was inconsistent at times on offense, Butler couldn’t get into position to challenge. Rinnah Green and Fairen Sutton paced the Bulldogs with 11 points each.
“There was no flow to the game,” Nelson said. “When there are as many fouls as were called, there becomes less flow to the game for the kids.”
Once Myers Park settled on a defensive strategy, the offense followed. Scott led the way with jumpers off the dribble or behind screens before Butler could react.
“I like the mid-range shot,” she said. “As long as I’m in there, I felt like I was going to be successful.”
Records: Butler 13-7, 5-3 Southwestern 4A; Myers Park 14-4, 8-0 Southwestern 4A.
Worth mentioning: Myers Park held Butler to single-digits in three of the four quarters.
What’s next: Myers Park plays Porter Ridge at home Feb. 2; Butler plays Rocky River at home Feb. 2.