Lions rout M-L-S to finish district play undefeated

Senior forward Quinn Harmon had the floor all to herself during the Senior Night ceremony prior to the Bishop Ryan girls basketball game against Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood.

Harmon – Ryan’s lone senior – took little time getting in the stat sheet, scoring the Lions’ first basket of their District 12 finale on Tuesday.

Harmon finished with four points before fouling out in a 71-26 victory against the Mavericks, completing an undefeated district regular season for the top-ranked Lions (17-0 overall, 7-0 district). Harmon entered Tuesday’s matchup averaging approximately eight points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals per contest.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Harmon said. “I don’t even know if I’d have played basketball if it weren’t for the girls I’m with. They make everything so much fun. It’s uncomparable.”

The Lions’ quest for district perfection was never in question as Ryan opened the game on a 10-2 run with a pair of baskets from sophomore forwards Hannah Stewart and Gabbie Bohl following Harmon’s opening bucket. Ryan led 23-6 at the end of the first quarter.

Stewart led Ryan with a game-high 22 points and 14 rebounds. The Lions had four players in double figures.

The Lions widened the gap with a 15-0 run stretching between the first and second quarters, leading to a comfortable 26-point halftime advantage. Twelve unanswered points to start the second half pushed the lead to 38.

“I was really pleased with our turnovers,” Ryan coach Julie Stewart said. “We only had eight turnovers. We moved the ball really well and played some decent defense.”

The Mavericks (8-7, 4-3) – hounded by Ryan’s aggressive defense all game – went the first three minutes, 50 seconds of the second half without a basket. M-L-S shot 26 percent from the field for the game. Shania Brackenbury led the Mavericks with 11 points.

“It was pretty much more of the same,” Hannah Stewart said. “We just wanted to keep focusing on defense, rebounding, running the floor. Just doing what we try to do every game.”

Tuesday’s victory closes out a dominant district run in which the Lions were hardly challenged. Ryan’s closest district game was a 29-point win against Our Redeemer’s Christian School. In their seven victories, the Lions outscored their opponents by an average of 52 points.

“Going into tournaments, you always know that the gaps are usually closed to some degree,” Julie Stewart said. “We just have to improve like everybody else is improving.”

Ryan has not lost to a district opponent since February 2010.

The Lions go for an undefeated regular season Tuesday at Turtle Lake-Mercer-McClusky. The Mavericks also play Tuesday at Washburn.