Ellie Markwardt had little trouble against Lincoln County’s defense in the first half Monday.
But after torching the visiting Lynx for 17 points by halftime, Mountain View’s senior guard was held to only one field goal in the second half. Lincoln County capitalized with a crucial 51-46 girls basketball win in the Class 2A Southern League.
“Our team defense tonight was better than it’s ever been with rotating off of (Markwardt),” Lynx coach Henry Frehner said of the second half. “She’s a heck of a shooter. You give her a step and she’s draining that 3.”
Markwardt’s only field goal in the second half was a 3-pointer. She finished with 25 points and five assists.
“They definitely found her in our half-court offense,” Mountain View coach Mike Valenzuela said. “That’s just a place where the other girls need to step up and hit shots.”
Patrice Marshall added 10 points for the Saints (17-10, 9-3), but no one else reached double figures. Zari Riley had five points and 11 rebounds.
Lincoln County, Needles, Mountain View and White Pine have clinched the league’s four playoff spots but are still jockeying for position.
The only way Mountain View can stake a claim to the No. 1 seed would be if Agassi Prep upset Needles tonight.
Meanwhile, Lincoln County (22-2, 11-1) could still end up tied with Needles (24-2, 10-1) for the top spot.
Frehner said postseason seeding was not as much of a concern as wanting his team to avenge a 52-40 loss to Mountain View on Feb. 3.
“It’s nice to pay them back from when we lost to them on our home court a week ago,” he said. “We may see this team again.”
Marissa Smerek had 18 points and eight rebounds to lead Lincoln County.
Mountain View pulled within 46-43 midway through the fourth quarter but was unable to make up for being outscored 29-14 in the middle quarters.