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Mason girls basketball team perseveres with three freshmen in the starting lineup

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Posted at 8:16 AM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 10:38:12-05

CINCINNATI — Mason girls basketball coach Rob Matula couldn’t be more pleased through seven games this season.

Mason started three freshmen and two juniors in a 58-49 win over visiting Lakota East Tuesday night.

“We still had the ability to carry out our game plan,” Matula said. “Even when the game got tight our players didn’t panic and continued to play hard on both ends.”

With senior guard Megan Wagner (Western Michigan signee) recovering from surgery and senior guard Alanna Carter (Akron) ill, Mason (5-2, 5-1 Greater Miami Conference) persevered without two of its senior leaders, according to Matula.

Freshman guard Margo Mattes tied a season high with 21 points and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds to go along with two steals to lift Mason.

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RELATED: MND coach Dr. Scott Rogers, Lakota East boys hoops coach Clint Adkins join the WCPO High School Insider

Matula said Mattes has the ability to score from anywhere and is effective on the defensive end, too. Mattes averages 17.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Freshmen Amanda Barnes (seven points) and Gabby Razzano also started Tuesday night.

“Margo is playing extremely well for a ninth-grader,” Matula said. “Although she is very talented she has so much to learn, which makes my job exciting. Pile on top of that, we have three other freshmen playing varsity and four others practicing with the varsity. Very exciting times here.”

Junior forward Marilyn Popplewell added 16 points, five rebounds, four blocks and three steals.

Mason plays host to Kettering Fairmont (6-1) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

“I’m really enjoying the process right now because we have great senior leadership in Megan Wagner, Alanna Carter, and (forward) Hannah Carlin,” Matula said.

Nice start
Sophomore Ella Riggs (22 points) and senior Maddie Antenucci (21 points) combined for 43 of Indian Hill’s 58 points Monday in a 58-51 win over visiting St. Ursula. Indian Hill (6-1) next plays at Taylor (4-3) Jan. 4. Antenucci, a Florida Gulf Coast University signee, averages 19.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.4 steals.

Purcell Marian (7-2) won seven consecutive games entering Wednesday night's matchup at Roger Bacon (6-4). Roger Bacon won 60-44. Purcell Marian sophomore Kara King scored 35 points and had four rebounds and three assists in a 68-34 win over visiting Wyoming Monday night.

National rankings
Mount Notre Dame (8-0) is ranked No. 8 nationally by MaxPreps and No. 9 nationally by USA Today this week.

Senior point guard Makira Cook (University of Dayton) had 24 points and seven assists and sophomore guard KK Bransford added 19 points in a 70-37 win over Bedford North Lawrence last weekend. MND plays host to Lebanon (6-0) Saturday afternoon.

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Mount Notre Dame is in the top 10 nationally, according to MaxPreps and USA Today.

“You are always going to get something from (Bransford) and Makira,” MND coach Dr. Scott Rogers said. “They are two of the best players in their respective classes in the country. We are very blessed to have them.”

MND expects to have junior guard Laila Phelia (concussion) back this week, Rogers said.

Around the city
Junior guard Kenzie Schneeman scored 24 points and had six rebounds and three steals in Deer Park’s 45-40 win at Clark Montessori Monday. Schmeeman averages 17.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 2.3 assists, according to the Cincinnati Hills League website.

Cincinnati Country Day (8-0) has the Miami Valley Conference’s top two leading scorers including juniors Sabrina DelBello (18.3 ppg.) and Kamryn Jordan (17.9 ppg.). Cincinnati Country Day plays host to Bethel-Tate (7-1) Saturday afternoon. Cincinnati Country Day is 8-0 for the first time in at least 20 years, according to the school.

Williamsburg remained undefeated Monday night after a 47-37 win over Clermont Northeastern. Williamsburg (6-0) plays host to Leesburg Fairfield Dec. 27.

Boys basketball
Woodward sophomore point guard Paul McMillan IV is averaging 30.5 points, 5.8 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 3.0 steals for the Bulldogs (2-2), who play at Aiken (4-0) Friday night. McMillan, who has scholarship offers from the likes of UC, Xavier, Mississippi and University of Tennessee at Martin, is rated the nation’s No. 5 point guard in the 2022 class by 247 Sports.

Oak Hills had four players score double figures in a 77-71 win over Western Hills Tuesday night. Junior guard Adonis Caneris scored a team-high 18 points to go along with seven rebounds. The Highlanders (4-1) play host to Sycamore (1-3) Friday night.

Junior Justin Lovette scored 17 points and had seven rebounds, senior Michael Wergers scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds, while senior Jaylen Lemons added 12 points as La Salle defeated host Lakota West 67-57 Tuesday night. La Salle (5-0) plays at Winton Woods Friday night.

Senior Montana Cottrell scored a season-high 27 points as Lockland defeated Ripley 65-53 Tuesday night.

Bethel-Tate has a 5-1 record after a 43-38 win at Felicity-Franklin Tuesday night. Bethel-Tate was 3-20 last season.

Junior Deanza Duncan scored 27 points as New Miami defeated host St. Bernard 60-48 Tuesday night. New Miami (5-1) plays at Summit Country Day (2-3) Friday night.

Junior forward David Larkins scored 26 points and had 12 rebounds, four assists and four blocks in Elder’s 79-67 win over Fairfield Tuesday night. Elder (2-2) plays host to Western Hills (3-2) Saturday night.

Norwood had three players score in double figures as the Indians defeated visiting Clark Montessori 84-73 Tuesday night. Junior Kevin English scored 24 points and four blocks. Shawn Williams added 20 points and five rebounds while senior Dawson Raines scored 16 points and had five rebounds and five assists.