BRIGHTON – In their season opener on Monday, the Legacy girls were outscored by 19 points in the fourth quarter of a 54-30 loss to Fountain-Fort Carson but the Lightning didn’t have Halle Mackiewicz for that game.
Mackiewicz was busy fulfilling a commitment to her primary sport, soccer, which she will play at Clemson University next year. In her return to the team at Brighton High School on Tuesday night, the Lightning senior showed just how dynamic an athlete she is no matter what sport she is playing on a given day.
Legacy held a six-point lead with time running out in their second game of the season but Brighton’s Nikki Antonopoulos drained a 3-pointer to cut the lead to three with a minute left. On the ensuing inbounds pass, Legacy’s soccer-basketball crossover star did her best quarterback impression, launching a three quarters-court overhand pass to sophomore Kendall Aragon for a layup that gave the Lightning the cushion it needed to win 37-30.
“It was great to have her back,” Lightning head coach Jody Welch said. “She’s so athletic and she provides that for us, and that calmness and competitiveness. It’s that mindset that she gives us.”
Mackiewicz, who averaged 19.1 points in 19 games as a junior last season, led all scorers with 18 points on Tuesday night. Twelve of her 18 points came via the free-throw line and she scored 12 points in the second half, during which the Lightning (1-1) pulled ahead of Brighton (1-1) after trailing 15-12 at halftime.
Tuesday’s game was not only the Legacy girls’ first game with Mackiewicz back in the lineup. It was also the Legacy girls’ first victory in their first season with Welch at head coach.
“All these first games are about learning for us,” Welch said. “We’re a really young group and I’ve got some kids that don’t have any varsity experience or it’s very limited and I’m asking them to do a lot. I’m happy with our effort and we’ve got to fix some things here and so every day is going to be a learning experience.”
Legacy pulled ahead with a 5-0 run to start the second half and never looked back. The Lightning outscored the Bulldogs, 12-6, in the third quarter. Legacy senior Ariana Ahadi scored eight points, Aragon and Katie Paredes each had four, and Joy Wikoff finished with three.
The Lightning will be on the road for the third time in three games to open this season when they travel to play Prairie View (0-1) on Friday.