Fields carries Middle after teammate's injury

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WILDWOOD – When Lauren Legler went down with a severe ankle injury early in the third quarter, her teammate and close friend put the rest of the team on her back.

Senior guard Lauryn Fields poured in 22 of her game-high 29 points after Legler’s injury at the 5:49 mark of the third quarter to lead the Middle Township High School girls basketball team to a 51-38 victory over Notre Dame in a Michelle Tarbotton-Rucci Girls Bracket game at the Boardwalk Basketball Classic Friday afternoon.

“That’s my best friend on and off the court,” Fields said of Legler. “I knew when she went down I had to step up and be a bigger leader.”

With Fields showing the way, Middle turned a three-point advantage at the time of Legler’s injury to a comfortable double-digit edge by the late stages of the fourth quarter.

“We had to make sure we picked up the offense,” Fields said. “We were in a slump right before she went down and I told the team we had to pick it back up and get this win.”

Middle (3-0) will compete in the bracket title game Saturday at 2:15 p.m. against Shawnee or Springfield-Delco (Pa.).

Fields shot 8 for 15 from the floor, including 3 of 5 on three-point shots, and was also a sensational 10 for 11 from the line. She also added five rebounds and three assists and committed just two turnovers.

Holly McKaig added 11 points on 4 of 7 shooting for the Lady Panthers.

“This was a really good win for our power points (for state playoff seeding),” Fields said. “We lost here last year and that game cost us the No. 1 seed for the playoffs. We needed to come out and get a win over a good team we didn’t know a lot about.”

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