Central's Kellan Baker

McMinn Central’s Kellan Baker (12) prepares to shoot against East Hamilton on Tuesday in The Roundhouse. Baker scored a game-high 23 points in the Chargerettes’ 77-53 win.

ENGLEWOOD — Everybody played and nearly everybody scored for the Chargerettes in their first action after the Thanksgiving weekend.

McMinn Central had 12 players score points in a 77-53 win over a short-handed East Hamilton team on Tuesday in The Roundhouse. The Chargerettes led 23-13 after the first quarter and started the second on an 11-3 run that put them firmly in control.

“We’ve played hard every game, we really have. I don’t think we’ve played really well, yet, in any of the games,” said Central coach Johnny Morgan, who moved to 991 career wins. “We’ve done some good things but we still have a long way to go. We can’t get the practice into the games 100%. We’re getting better at it, and we’ve got people who are playing minutes that are getting better every time.”

Central (4-1) led 44-24 at halftime after a second quarter in which it forced eight turnovers from the Lady Hurricanes. East Hamilton has been without standout McKenna Hayes, who has received some NCAA Division I offers, early this season in a 1-6 start.

But even without Hayes, Morgan considered the Lady Hurricanes a good test of where the Chargerettes were at.

“They’ve got a good team. I know they’ve lost some games to Bradley and Cleveland in the Thanksgiving thing, but they had one of their better girls that didn’t play in that one,” Morgan said. “They’ve got not just good athletes, good-looking strong athletes, but they’ve got good basketball players, so I’m glad we got this one in.”

Central led by as many as 32 points late in the third and early in the fourth quarters. It was the first game this season that the deeper end of the Chargerettes’ bench got to play some minutes in the fourth quarter — giving them some exposure to a Lady Hurricanes team that was still pressing on defense.

“It was good because of two things: they had to go against the press, and they had to go against a team that was really physical and they had to go against a team that was really attacking the goal,” Morgan said. “So that helped. And there’s several of them who got to play tonight who hadn’t got to play who are going to be the big dogs next year and they’re going to have to produce.”

Kellan Baker led Central with 23 points, and Molly Masingale added 16 and Karina Bystry 14. The Chargerettes made nine 3-pointers for the game, six of them in the first half. Bystry, a freshman, drained four of those, including three in the first half, and Baker and Masingale sank two each and Carlee Rule another one from behind the arc.

The boys’ game had been canceled Tuesday, with a reschedule date not determined yet.

Both Central basketball teams are back in action today in The Roundhouse against Christian Academy of Knoxville. The girls’ game tips off at 6 p.m. and the boys at around 7:30.

Email: gabriel.garcia@

dailypostathenian.com

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