Lexy Rychcik isn’t a big talker, but what she did to Middleburgh on Wednesday night left her speechless.
The junior guard knocked down a career-best seven three-pointers, finishing with a game-high 24 points, as unbeaten Mekeel Christian Academy beat visiting Middleburgh, 63-34. Rychcik’s effort helped the Lady Lions get to 6-0 in the Western Athletic Conference, and put two games between them and 4-2 Middleburgh in the 10-game South Division schedule.
Rychcik hit nothing but net on her first six three-point shots, all from the same spot on the right wing, as she missed Nicole Barratiere’s school record by one.
Explaining her success was another matter.
“I don’t even know,” she said about her shooting. “It felt really good when I shot the ball. I’ve never done that before.
“I’m not really a three-point shooter at all. I’m really not. I’m more of a driving-the-lane player. I don’t know what happened.”
Rychcik’s deadeye act came in handy, as senior Macie Holmes had an off night, missing all six of her shots in the first quarter, five of them threes.
But Rychcik was good on all three of her attempts from behind the arc to give the hosts an 18-12 lead after one quarter.
“Her job is to go out there, run the lane and spot up. Tonight, she did a great job of that,” said Mekeel coach Guy DeAngelis, whose team is 12-0. “She’s capable of this any night. It didn’t surprise me that she was knocking them in. I was suprised that she hit them in a row like that. We’ve been waiting for that.”
The combination of Rychcik’s shooting and the Mekeel defense was too much for Middleburgh in the second quarter, as the Lady Knights were outscored, 19-5. It was more of the same in the third, which ended when Holmes calmly brought the ball up with five seconds left, crossed the midcourt line, set herself and hit nothing by net as time expired.
“Defense is very big for us,” said Holmes, among the best in Section II from behind the arc. “Coach ingrains that in our minds, that it’s going to help our offense.”
Leading the defense was senior Nicole Pigliavento, who held Carley Ryan to six points. Liz Singleton also kept Kiera Morgan in check, and Rebekkah Dean grabbed 10 rebounds to go with 10 points.
“Nicole did a great job on her. Ryan was our top priority,” DeAngelis said. “I thought the whole defense was excellent tonight.
“I felt if we could control the boards and score in transition, we would win. The shooting from Lexy, you don’t plan for that. You hope you can get it, but she really made them pay.”
Mekeel won at Middleburgh early in the season, but Holmes felt the Lady Lions played much better in the second meeting.
“I think the first time we played them, we were maybe a little intimidated, a little scared, not knowing what could happen,” she said. “The whole team was ready for this game all day. I’d say this is the best we’ve played so far.”
To her credit, Holmes did other things to help her team when her shots weren’t falling.
“If I’m not good at shooting, I’ve got to find other things to help the team,” she said after Mekeel finished with almost as many made threes (11) as two-point baskets (12). “Tonight, Lexy was on.
“That helps a lot. When teams look at us, they’ve got to look at a post player, two guards, a whole team.”
Ryan 3-0-6, Morgan 1-0-2, McCoy 6-3-15, Palmatier 0-1-1, Leruzik 2-0-4m Wood 1-0-2, Terrell 2-0-4. Totals: 15-4-34.
MEKEEL CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
Holmes 7-0-16, Dean 4-2-10, Bath 1-2-4, Singleton 1-0-3, Rychcik 8-1-24, Pilgiavento 2-1-6. Totals: 23-6-63.
Middleburgh 12 5 6 11 — 34
Mekeel Christian 18 19 19 7 — 63
Three-point goals: Holmes 2, Singleton, Rychcik 7, Pigliavento.
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Categories: High School Sports