Girls basketball: Mayfield ends Lake Catholic's five-game winning streak

Mayfield put an end to Lake Catholic's longest winning streak of the season Wednesday night.



The Wildcats played with heart and intensity, which the Cougars lacked, in a 57-46 decision between two ranked teams in the Top of the Crop.



"Mayfield just came to win, and I don't think we had the mental preparation that we normally do," Lake Catholic coach Stephen Eppich said. "For whatever reason, that lacked tonight and it showed. I told the girls to find what it was and go back to what we were doing on our five-game winning streak."



With the win, the Division I Wildcats, ranked No. 7 in this week's Crop, improved to 11-6. The Division II Cougars, who were ranked No. 3 in the Crop, slipped to 9-9.



"We are going to run into a lot of good guards and that's exactly what they had," Eppich said. "We were hoping they would have an off night and we would have a chance in the fourth quarter to get the victory, but they did exactly what they needed to do."



The guard play of juniors Halle Rubino and Shannon Zajec set the tone early for the Wildcats.



The Cougars took a 5-4 lead at the start of the first quarter on a driving layup by Katlyn Spahar, but it proved to be their last. The Wildcats closed the quarter with an 8-0 run, led by Rubino, who had a driving layup and two assists. Zajec added back-to-back jumpers and Madison Snider capitalized on a shot following a technical foul on Eppich.



The Cougars totaled 11 turnovers in the first quarter and shot just 2 of 8 from the field. The Wildcats limited their turnovers to three and shot 6 of 14 from the field.



"We are in first place in our conference and we have a big game coming up on Saturday, so I told the girls this was their tune-up," said Mayfield coach Tony Ware, whose team hosts North Royalton on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. "I told them to play awesome defense and boy were they sick tonight. We just shut them down."



The Cougars outscored the Wildcats, 15-13, in the second quarter, but still trailed 25-20 at halftime.



The Wildcats pulled away toward the end of the third quarter when they went on a 12-0 run. Zajec sparked her team with a 3-pointer. Snider added a three-point play and Rubino, who was playing with three fouls, made a steal and a layup.



"This game was a milestone for us," Zajec said. "Lake has beaten a lot of good teams and they are ranked. So if we can beat a ranked team, I think we will go far in districts."



Zajec and Rubino finished with 14 points apiece. Jillian Gibson had a team-high 18 for the Cougars. Spahar, who averages 18.2 points per game, finished with 11.



"We play with a lot of heart, that is what we are known for," Zajec said. "Our defense wins games. Our intensity shows that we are a good team and if we can just make those shots and get down the court, we could really be good."

Last Updated: 1/30/2013 11:33:56 PM EST

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