U-High had 6-foot Maud Jansen ready to scoop up any missed shots against a much shorter North Shore squad. It turned out the Maroons didn’t need her.
The Maroons came out on fire behind the arc, hitting five three-pointers in the first quarter to take a 23-2 lead on the Raiders by quarter’s end. Holding onto a slim 4-2 lead early, U-High scored 21 unanswered points to take a double-digit lead that would last until the final buzzer as the Maroons notched a 61-22 win Wednesday.
Senior shooting guard Sophia Gatton was particularly unstoppable for the Maroons, finishing with 17 points. Her own personal run, encompassing six points in a little under a minute, helped put the game away for U-High.
After the game, Maroons coach Tai Duncan noted that Gatton has become an elite shooting guard, both with her shooting and her court leadership. That leadership has even led to a little swagger, according to Duncan.
“She does, she does [have a little swagger on the court],” Duncan said. “I think it’s helped her. She’s earned it. She spends all summer in the gym. When no one else is here, she’s here.”
North Shore actually kept pace withU-High in the second quarter, with both teams scoring six points, but Gatton’s flurry of points would put the final nail in the coffin for the Raiders. Twice in a row, Gatton beat the Raiders up the court for easy fast-break layups, a fact that North Shore coach Dana Leonard found particularly hard to swallow.
“The second quarter was our best quarter,” Leonard said. “Our team defense, we were rotating, we were helping out. They are obviously a lot bigger than us, stronger than us and faster than us. There were times when I was very, very proud of our defense and then our offense too and then there where times where I couldn’t watch.”
Sophomore guard Annie Kroll led the way per usual for the Raiders with six points. Seven different North Shore players also made the score sheet.
The Maroons have a shot at snagging their fifth conference championship as they upped their record to 14-2 Wednesday night.