Craig Harris/Macon County Times Macon County High junior forward McKaylee Mix dribbles to the basket as Westmoreland junior Leah Kendall reaches in.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Macon County High junior forward McKaylee Mix dribbles to the basket as Westmoreland junior Leah Kendall reaches in.

Beginning on Dec. 19, the Macon County High girls basketball team played 10 games over a 15-day stretch.

As a result, the Tigerettes took some time off last week.

Macon County enjoyed a four-day break before returning to the court, but the layoff didn't have adverse effects in its first game back, a 65-32 victory over visiting Westmoreland on Friday evening.

"It helped us and hurt us," Tigerette sophomore point guard Jalynn Gregory said of the layoff. "Being off so long, (Thursday's) practice was not a good practice. It was sloppy ... but we needed the break. We needed the rest. Everybody's bodies were tired."

During that 15-day stretch, Macon County traveled to Phoenix to play in the Nike Tournament of Champions.

"It was the best thing we could have done," Tigerette head coach Larry White said of the break. "It made practice a little rough yesterday, but I thought we played real well tonight."

Three of the team's four losses -- setbacks to Ensworth, Rosary Academy (California) and Fremont (Nebraska) -- came over those 10 games.

"In the first game we lost against Clarkrange (in the team's season opener), we needed to play better," Gregory said. "We were all very proud of how we did against Ensworth. They have two Division I players (Dontavia Waggoner and Kaiya Wynn).

"Some games, we should have won ... but we did learn something (from the losses)."

Macon County played at Westmoreland on Nov. 19, capturing a 64-39 victory.

In the rematch, the Tigerettes took the lead early on and gradually extended it.

The Lady Eagles (10-6) employed multiple defenses, including a 1-2-2 zone and a 2-3 zone.

"I was really pleased with the execution offensively," White said. "We've worked really hard at that. The competition we've been playing has helped us."

Macon County junior guard Keeley Carter scored the final five points of the first quarter, turning a three-point lead into an eight-point advantage.

Then, the Tigerettes forced back-to-back turnovers to start the second stanza, leading to two free throws from junior McKaylee Mix and a Gregory 3-pointer. That extended the lead to 23-10.

The margin was at 14 points, 32-18, at the intermission.

Westmoreland junior point guard Avery Morris scored eight of her team-high 12 points in the first half, but the Lady Eagles were limited to just 14 points after halftime.

"We tried to make an adjustment on (Morris) at halftime," White said. "She was getting to the rim. We did a good job in the second half. She's a good player."

Gregory added, "That's what we were trying to do. We knew if somebody did get by us (with dribble penetration), we were going to have to rotate on defense. They're not very good three-point shooters. One girl (freshman Alana Eakle) did hit a couple. We knew we had to run at her and run her off the (three-point) line."

Gregory scored 9 points during a 14-1 run that began late in the third quarter and extended into the final period. That stretched the lead to 27 points (54-27).

Macon County (15-4) shot just 41 percent from the field but forced 23 turnovers and outrebounded Westmoreland by a 33-22 margin.

Carter finished with team-highs of 23 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists, converting 11 of 13 free-throw attempts. Gregory provided 20 points and 4 steals, sinking all five of her free throws.

The Tigerettes conclude the regular season with nine consecutive district games. After facing York Institute on Tuesday, Macon County will host DeKalb County on Friday.

"We always look forward to the district (games)," Gregory said. "We know that's what really matters.

"In the first couple of games, we want to know where we stand. Playing district games, you want to beat everybody and show you are the best."

Macon County girls 65, Westmoreland 32

WESTMORELAND (32) – Avery Morris 12, Alana Eakle 8, Leah Kendall 6, Emma Wright 3, Savannah Martin 2, Mallory Case 1.

MACON COUNTY (65) – Keeley Carter 23, Jalynn Gregory 20, Graci Scott 5, Briea Crouch 4, Jamie Ashburn 3, Marah King 3, Abby Shoulders 3, Emily Ashburn 2, McKaylee Mix 2.

Half: 32-18, Macon County. Three-point goals: Westmoreland 2 (Eakle 2), Macon County 6 (Gregory 3, J. Ashburn 1, Scott 1, Shoulders 1). Records: Westmoreland 10-6, Macon County 15-4.