While a young Millennium Charter Academy girls’ basketball team is struggling against teams with a much longer history and with greater experience, the school’s middle school team is on a level playing field.
Well, at least officially it is. Their opponents might not think so.
The Lady Lions’ middle schoolers have opened the season with three impressive victories, downing the Forsyth Country Day JVs 15-5, then pummeling the Calvary Day JVs 30-8, and finally going on the road and whipping independent school powerhouse State Line Rush 19-14 last Friday night.
While the first two wins, over high-school level JV teams, were impressive enough, the trip to Fries, Va. was the most impressive for the team. Coach Kevin Gwyn told his team to be ready for a battle, and that’s what they received against a well-coached and athletic team that easily beat the MCA varsity that night. The middle-school Lady Lions scored the first six points of the game and held State Line at bay the rest of the evening. Coach Gwyn said they stayed poised throughout the game and played solid defense. Madison Maurer led the way with nine points and four blocks. Eliana Spencer had a strong performance with eight points, and Kamber Lovill knocked down both of her free throws to contribute two points. Karlie Gwyn led the team in assists with four, and Leah Shaw had six steals.
The season began on Nov. 15 with a road trip to Forsyth Country Day, where the Lady Lions limited their opponents to just a single field goal. Maurer lead the way with six points and three blocked shots. Karlie Gwyn contributed with two points and three assists. Eliana Spencer and Cameron Shaw also scored for MCA.
The Lady Lions’ home opener came two days later against the Calvary Day JV. The defense was just as strong in this one, as Millennium ended the first quarter ahead 12-0. Coach Gwyn gave four of his five starters the rest of the game off, but the second string outscored Calvary 18-8 the rest of the night. Eliana Spencer led all scorers with eight points. Grace Phillips put up six points and Lovill, Maurer, Hailey Perry and Sophia Kiser all had four points. Coach Gwyn was very pleased with the performance of his second line and is looking forward to seeing how good this team can become.
“We can make a deep run this year if we can get our offense running with the same passion our defense is showing,” he said.
The MCA middle school boys have played twice this season going into a contest on Tuesday night that ended after press time. Playing the same high-school JV competition that the girls did, the Lions couldn’t hang with Forsyth Country Day in the season opener, losing 47-19. However, the Friday battle with State Line Rush was a different story. In that game, MCA was much more aggressive on defense and stayed in the game throughout. In the final two minutes of the contest, three 3-pointers found nothing but net as the Lions surged ahead and earned their first victory of the season, 35-33.The middle school girls will return to the court on Monday at Calvary, while both teams will rematch with State Line Rush on Dec. 2.