By FRED KRONER
Monday night’s formula for success is not one Mahomet-Seymour girls’ basketball coach Nathan Seal would like to see repeated.
A slow start was followed by a fast finish.
The outcome was satisfactory as the Bulldogs (10-6) defeated visiting Mount Zion 57-37, but the manner in which the win was achieved was not as pleasing as the victory itself.
“Credit Mount Zion,” Seal said. “They were well-prepared and controlled the tempo the first half. They did a good job in their game plan.”
The Braves (4-15) scored the game’s first five points and were tied with M-S in the final 90 seconds of he first half.
“Our girls showed some composure,” Seal said.
By halftime, the Bulldogs held a 25-20 lead.
The margin was attributed to late baskets to end each of the first two quarters.
Erin Lenschow released a three-pointer which beat the first-quarter buzzer — thanks to a nice assist from Alexa Franklin — and Cassidi Collins converted a layup with 7.1 seconds left in the second quarter.
Seal said Lenschow’s shot created “momentum,” but added, “what was nice was we slowed down and executed and got a great pass from Alexa.”
The 18-year head coach switched defenses during the halftime break and he said the man-to-man press “helped change the pace.”
The Bulldogs scored 13 of the first 15 second-half points and achieved their second double-digit win over the Braves this season.
Sisters Amanda and Jessica Franklin each scored six points during the third-quarter spurt.
“Jessica hit shots, handled the ball well and slowed down one of their top shooters,” Seal said. “She takes pride in her defense.”
Mount Zion managed only one basket during the first 6 minutes of the second half.
Amanda Franklin led the Bulldogs with 16 points and seven rebounds.
“She’s hard to stop when she gets on a roll,” Seal said.
Teammates scoring in double figures were Abbie Velazquez (11 points) and Jessica Franklin (10 points).
Jessica Franklin, Kailyn Northrup and Collins each grabbed five rebounds. Jessica Franklin led the team with four assists. Northrup had three.
All in all, Seal likes the progress in his team.
“We do a lot of good things and play well as a team,” he said, “but we have to do a better job rebounding and fine-tune a lot of things.”
Velazquez came off the bench to drain three three-point shots.
Her 11 total points came in 12 minutes of court time.
“She’s getting in her stride,” Seal said. “That’s two good games in a row for her.”
The Bulldogs return to action on Thursday with an Apollo Conference game at Effingham. M-S is 4-3 in league play.