"What I tell my girls is that if we play defense, the offense will come," Skyline coach Lynette Schroeder said. "When we took a stand and decided to play team defense, we were getting in the passing lanes to get steals and we were getting rebounds, then we were able to transition on offense."
Ahead 39-37 early in the fourth quarter, Eagles senior guard Sydnee Taylor swished a 12-foot jumper and then stroked a 3-pointer to push the margin back up to seven.
After a field goal by Vanessa Austin, Judge's leader with 11 points, Taylor got another bucket which was followed by consecutive baskets by Skyline's Mia Mortensen the latter a layup off the senior's own steal. That was part of a 14-2 run in the last four minutes that put the game away.
Judge (5-1) had a modicum of momentum heading into halftime after a pair of quick scores in the last 16 seconds of the second period cut the 16-point deficit down to a dozen.
In the second half, the momentum continued for the Bulldogs. After the 16-point spread was restored temporarily, at 33-17, Judge then went on a 20-6 run that extended into the first two minutes of the fourth.
"I thought our girls started rather sluggish and it was a steep climb to get back into it," said Judge Memorial coach Anthony Alford. "You have to expend so much energy, as much as we were down. We just didn't have it in us tonight."
The 'Dogs were hindered by injuries, one of which was to starting point guard Sadie Sewell who hurt a collarbone and will be out likely until mid-February.
"She's the dot-the-I's, cross-the-T's girl. When were on defense, she's the one who starts everyone talking," Alford said of Sewell. "When we're in transition, she's the one getting everyone where they need to be."
Skyline 56, Judge 40
O After blowing a 33-17 second-half lead, the Eagles pull away down the stretch with a 14-2 run.
• Sydnee Taylor leads Skyline with 15 points, while Mia Mortensen adds 14.