Girls’ basketball: Maia Lee leads unbeaten McLean past Fairfax, 59-45

January 14

For unbeaten McLean, the offense is simple: Work the ball through 6-foot-3 standout Maia Lee, and if the shot isn’t available, another player finds an open spot on the floor.

The Old Dominion commit commands constant double teams, so it’s on her teammates to find their own offense to couple with her post play.

“We just feed off each other so well,” guard Elena Karakozoff said. “She’s really easy to see when she’s open and she likes getting the pass on the move. She makes it a lot easier of a job for me.”

Lee scored a game-high 21 points in Tuesday’s 59-45 home win against Conference 6 opponent Fairfax. She made 8 of 10 shots from the floor and all of her baskets, which were layups, came on assists from Highlanders guards. McLean had 18 assists.

Karakozoff was a huge beneficiary of the attention Lee received on the offensive end for McLean (13-0, 1-0). The senior guard scored a season high 16 points to go with six assists, seven rebounds and six steals.

“She doesn’t show up in the stats a lot so you don’t hear a lot about her,” McLean Coach Jen Sobota said. “But when she is off the floor you can distinctly tell. She makes our team go.”

Lee extended thanks to her guards postgame for the opportunities they created for her. She has scored 20 or more points three times.

“I’m very grateful of them for the amount of touches they give me,” Lee said. “Elena is a great passer. All of those guards are actually.”

The Highlanders opened the game on a 10-2 run against the Rebels and the lead would balloon to as high as 21 points late in the second quarter.

Fairfax (9-4, 0-1) face-guarded Lee with one defender the entire second half, and behind Kylie Murphee’s team-high 13 points the Rebels cut the deficit to seven at the end of the third quarter. Lee scored five of her 21 points in the second half.

“It was pretty hard,” Lee said of the Rebels’ second-half defensive adjustment. “But I had to decide how to get open and how to score. I think it made me better.”

Seven would be as close as the Rebels would get as Lee and Karakozoff combined for 10 points in the final period to seal McLean’s first conference win and 13th consecutive victory.

“We’re a target to other teams because everybody wants to break our streak,” Lee said. “I think we can go far, and if we keep playing like this we can win districts.”

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