NEW PARIS — Behind sophomore JaLynn Byrd’s 15 points, the National Trail Lady Blazers defeated Franklin-Monroe 47-31 for the team’s second league win of the season on Thursday, Dec. 17.
Junior Peyton Laird recorded a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds as the Blazers controlled the majority of the game in the team’s 16-point victory.
The Blazers used a solid defensive effort, according to head coach Troy Ferguson, who also pointed out his team only allowed the Jets six attempts from the free throw line in the game.
The Blazers led 9-4 after the first quarter, and entered the half with a 21-12 lead.
The lead swelled to double digits in the third and the Jets really never threatened to get back in the game.
“Looking at the scoreboard, you think, ah they played well, nice win, but we took things away from this that we weren’t happy with,” Ferguson said. “We’ll work on correcting those and keep working to get better.”
On Monday, Dec. 14, the team hosted Eaton and fell to the Eagles 49-32.
It was close after the first quarter, but Ferguson noted the second and third quarters as his team’s biggest downfall. National Trial was outscored 34-12 in the two quarters.
“We weren’t able to combat their size inside,” Ferguson said, noting his team allowed 19 offensive rebounds. “I thought we did a pretty good job early on, but they stuck to what they do and got the ball inside.”
The Blazers shot just 19 percent from the field in the game.
Laird scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her first of two double-doubles on the week. She was the only Blazer to score in double figures against Eaton.
To close out the week, the Blazers used a 13-1 first quarter on Saturday, Dec. 19, to defeat Northridge, at home, 47-21.
The Blazers led by double digits the majority of the game and took a 21-12 halftime lead before using a 26-9 second half advantage to seal the victory.
Senior Miranda Mize led the Blazers with 18 points and eight rebounds. She also added four steals and three assists.
As a team, the Blazers shot a season-high 44 percent from the floor and recorded a season-high 15 team assists. The team also had a season low 12 turnovers.
“I thought we executed much better offensively and the shot selection we’ve been talking about was the best it’s been to this point,” Ferguson said. “I was most pleased with the shot selection and our unselfishness.”
Laird scored 11 for another double-digit scoring effort on the week. Byrd scored seven.
The Blazers were scheduled to host Mississinawa Valley on Monday, Dec. 21, before a long break. The team will pick up action again when they host Carlisle on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @ aschmidt_RH.