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    Gross leads MacArthur past Hicksville

    by Stephen Haynes on
    Wed, Jan 18, 2012 10:45 AM

    Updated Wed, Jan 18, 2012 5:09 PM

    It looks as if she's trying to put on a seat belt . . . is how Amanda Gross' admittedly awkward shooting form has been described.

    Sort of. The MacArthur guard holds the ball above her right shoulder, reaches around with her left hand and slings it across her body. It's joked about in practice, and teammate Jena Cozza said she can't believe Gross' shots ever fall.

    Until you hear the "swish." It's OK, the basket can't tell the difference.

    "I've been doing it like that since I was little and never changed," Gross said after helping spark MacArthur's 56-37 win over AA-II rival Hicksville Tuesday. "I just work with it."

    And it worked for her as she scored 11 points, all in the first half, on perimeter shots that caught nothing but net.

    "It's certainly not traditional," coach Kathleen Auer said, "but when she's on, she's on."

    Gross sat out most of the second half, which likely kept the junior from surpassing her career high of 17 points she set Thursday.

    Courtney Noakes scored 15 points, Cozza added 12 points and six assists, and Vanessa Wyckoff had six points and 15 rebounds for the Generals (6-1), who took sole possession of second place in the conference, ahead of Hicksville (5-2).

    "We're clicking right now," Noakes said. "Our passing is good, we're running the court, and our shooters are knocking 'em down.''

    MacArthur seized control with a 22-8 first quarter and took its largest lead of the first half -- 38-16 -- on Gross' corner three with 1:11 left. Noakes and Cozza did a lot of their damage on fast breaks, several of which were ignited by steals.

    Nicole Wyckoff's free throw put MacArthur up 53-23 with 5:47 remaining.

    The Generals also contained Hicksville star Caitlyn Garger (10 points). Jillian Wynne scored 12 on four three-pointers in the fourth, and Amanda Casey added 10 points.

    "After losing to Baldwin," Cozza said, "we've been out to show that we're a team to be reckoned with."

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