WICHITA—This is the kind of group win Augusta's girls basketball team looks for.
Whether it was a wild, yet under-control layup by Maddy Leedom off her own steal or a sweet backdoor pass or cut by Madie Becker, the Orioles made just enough plays to fend off Collegiate for a 37-30 win on the road Friday night.
It seemed that Becker was on the floor scrapping for rebounds or a loose ball every other play for the Orioles. When she wasn't doing that, she was making great passes or finishing plays with layups or baby jump shots. She scored eight points and had two assists, two steals and several rebounds.
"She played with a lot of energy and a lot of confidence tonight," coach Tracy Anderson said about Becker. "She was huge. I think that's by far her best overall game."
Anderson felt the Spartans' post players took control in the first meeting this season, so she wanted to take away their drop step and force some turnovers. Becker and Taylor Childers handled the bulk of that task, but it was the team defense that put the clamps on the Spartans.
"Casady [Marlnee] helped out a lot. She always came in and we had a good trap," Taylor Childers said. "Then the guards would just drop down and have a steal. It was beautiful."
In all, the Orioles forced 21 turnovers.
"We were trying to go out there and pressure the ball as much as we could," Madie Becker said.
Marlnee got the Orioles' offense rolling early, hitting three straight jumpers off screens or curls in the paint. Kalie Robinson scored a basket at the end of the first quarter for a 12-4 lead.
Becker scored on an inbound pass from Morgan Kirk to put Augusta ahead 16-6. Collegiate answer a couple possessions later with back-to-back 3-pointers and closed the gap to 18-13 by halftime.
Becker scored on a pick-and-roll from Marlnee, then Childers completed a three-point play to push the Orioles' lead back up to 25-16 in the third.
"Our guards, they really just timed everything really well so I could catch that pass. The guards set it up perfectly for the cutback for an open layup," Becker said.
Leedom made what easily was the play of the game early in the fourth quarter. Leedom stole a pass, raced upcourt, then flung up and made an amazing layup high off the backboard when she was almost near the baseline.
That wasn't the only good play she made, either. Leedom had four steals and scored seven points. Anderson called it the smartest game Leedom has played defensively all season. Instead of being solely focused on whom she was defending, Leedom helped down low and caused some problems for Collegiate's post players.
With less than two minutes to go and the game still in question, Leedom made a play that was beyond her years. Instead of taking a wide open 3-pointer in transition, she pulled it back, ran the offense—as well as time off the clock—before setting up a play that led to free throws that helped clinch the win.
"I thought that was a really mature play for a freshman," Anderson said.
Marlnee scored a team-high 11 points and had an assist. Childers scored six. Robinson had five points.