Napoleon High School basketball player Mackenzie Fairbanks (4) battles a Battle Creek Pennfield player for the basketball during a home contest Dec. 4.
Three years ago when Napoleon High School’s big three female basketball players – Kaylee Jester, Mackenzie Fairbanks and Brittany Leutz – joined the varsity squad, big things were expected.
Three years, zero conference titles and one district championship later, there is a sense of urgency for the Pirate players.
Napoleon scrapped and fought for a 52-37 win against Battle Creek Pennfield to improve to 2-0 on the young season.
Fairbanks led everyone with 22 points and 14 rebounds, Jester added 15 points and 10 rebounds and Leutz tallied five points, dished five assists and made four steals in the win.
The sense of urgency is noticeable, according to Fairbanks.
“We are realizing this is our last year together and we are going separate ways one way or another next year,” Fairbanks said. “We have been playing basketball together since fifth grade.
“We have it stuck in our minds that we are on a mission.”
The mission took nine minutes to develop as the score was tied 7-all at the end of the first quarter and Pennfield scored a minute into the second quarter to take a 9-7 lead.
That is when the big three – especially Fairbanks – took over. Fairbanks scored 14 points in the second quarter on a number of good feeds by Leutz.
Jester added 10 points in the third quarter as the Pirates jumped out to a 45-17 lead after 24 minutes of action.
The starters watched as bench players played for most of the fourth quarter.
Adeline Maxson scored three points and Rachel Griffin and Haley Rose added two points apiece in the fourth quarter for the Pirates.
Northwest 56, Columbia Central 26: Chelsea Palmer scored eight points, Lindsey Sullivan added seven points and Alissa Fish finished with six points for CCHS (1-1).
Jackson 43, Lumen Christi 24: Megan Saunders scored 11 points and Erin Kalahar finished with seven rebounds for Lumen Christi (0-2). The Titans were outscored 14-2 in the third quarter.
For more photos of the B.C. Pennfield/Napoleon game, go to: