Dec. 31—MERCER — It wasn't the prettiest game as the offense had trouble hitting shots. But the defense has made life easier on the offensive end for the Sharon girls basketball team.
That remained true on Friday evening as the Tigers beat Ambridge in the consolation game of the Mercer Christmas Tournament. The Tigers came away with a 59-33 win against the Bridgers.
Sharon's India McGee scored a game-high 21 points with five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Her performance earned her a spot on the all-tournament team.
"Off the fastbreaks, some of the out-of-bounds plays. We really just had to look for the cuts," McGee said. "I really had to take my time because a lot of times I'm rushing my shot. I take my time, half the time it goes in."
Lacey Root finished with 18 points with eight rebounds and an assist. Jamoria Crumby added six points with a game-high four assists, and Diavonna Nixon had two points and a team-high 12 rebounds.
The Tigers (7-2) had trouble dealing with Ambridge forward Aliva Bupp. The girl in the middle finished with a double-double — 12 points and 17 rebounds. Delaney Moore scored a team-high 14 points with six boards and three assists for the Bridgers.
Sharon grabbed the lead on a layup by Crumby with 3:46 to play in the first quarter. The basket made it a 6-5 Tigers advantage, and they never trailed the rest of the game.
Shots didn't fall for the Tigers throughout the night. But they forced enough turnovers to generate some quick offense near the half-court line.
Those fastbreaks allowed the Tigers to get up the court with the numbers advantage and cash in on some layups.
It was a rebound victory for the Tigers. They lost to Montieau in the opening round of the tournament. Sharon head coach Kellie O'Brien was glad to see her players take advantage of turnovers to continue putting points on the board.
"We played great defense last night, too," Kellie O'Brien said. "We just couldn't put the ball in the hoop."
O'Brien said the Tigers have seen a number of players step up to help drive the offense through the first eight games of the year. On Friday, it was McGee's turn to get things going.
McGee put in the time during the offseason and has been a leader on a Sharon roster that only features three seniors. The veteran guard thought she'd gotten off to a slow start in the early portion of the season, but Friday's performance could be a confidence boost as Sharon gets into the meat of the schedule.
"We always share the ball," McGee said. "We're having trouble shooting. I think we could have had some more points, but overall, we played as a team well. I think I had a good game going into the second half."
Mercer Christmas Tournament
SHARON 14 14 13 13 59
AMBRIDGE 7 6 10 10 33
SHARON — Crumby 3-0-0-6, Messina 0-0-0-0, I. McGee 10-1-2-21, Da. Nixon 4-1-5-10, Robinson 0-0-0-0, J. McGee 0-0-0-0, Griggs 1-0-0-2, Di. Nixon 1-0-0-2, Root 8-2-4-18, Ragsdale-Holden 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Da. Nixon 1. Totals: 27-4-11-59.
AMBRIDGE — Ikard 0-0-0-0, Wetzel 1-0-2-2, N. Collins 1-0-2-2, Moore 4-0-0-14, M. Collins 1-0-2-3, Bupp 3-6-8-12. 3-pt. goals: Moore 3, M.Collins 1. Totals: 10-6-14-33.