|Lady Jays falter in season-opener|
|Thursday, November 28, 2013 9:14 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
LIMA — St. John’s kept it close for most of the game in its girls basketball opener Wednesday at Lima Central Catholic’s Msgr. Edward C. Herr Gymnasium.
In the end, the Lady Blue Jays couldn’t get over the hump as the Lady Thunderbirds improved to 3-0 with a 51-41 non-conference victory.
Sophomore Sydney Fischbach led the Blue and Gold with a double-double: 14 markers and 10 boards, adding four assists. Senior Amanda Boberg tossed in eight points.
“We were playing our first game and LCC their third but we’re not offering any excuses. We saw some good things tonight but not consistently,” Jays mentor Dan J. Grothouse said. “It’s going to take some time to mesh our youngsters — those getting their first varsity experience — and our veterans together. We have to figure out what we have to do to play at this level: how to be in control, where to get to the ball and to whom, what to do in a certain situation.”
LCC was topped by freshman Madison Stolly with 19 counters to go with six boards, while senior Meredith Shepherd added 10 points. Senior Sydney Mohler led all rebounders with 15.
For LCC coach Katie Krieg, they’ve begun to figure out that process.
“Madison is such a wonderful player and a natural but she is a freshman. Meredith had eight threes the night before but didn’t have that same kind of game,” she explained. “What was good was how others stepped up in their stead. For example, Natalie (Snider) plays both varsity and junior varsity and she gave us a lot of energy and defense in the second half.”
The Jays, opening their season, battled on even terms for the first 4-plus minutes of the first period. They had an advantage in the paint with the 5-11 sophomore Fischbach and made a concerted effort to get her the ball. However, after leading 8-3 on a 3-ball by senior Brooke Zuber midway through the period, the Thunderbirds made a key run. They converted three turnovers in fast-break layups in the midst of a 12-0 closing spurt, taking the lead for good on a putback by Shepherd with 1:38 to go, and took a 15-8 edge on a baby hook by the lefty Stolly with 9.1 ticks on the board.
Stolly, who had seven points the first period, was held scoreless in the second. However, the Jays couldn’t take advantage. They got within 20-17 on a triple from the right wing by senior Emilie Fischbach but two tosses by Shepherd with no time on the clock made it a 22-17 halftime score.
LCC junior speedster Sydney Santaguida picked up her second and third fouls in the last minute of the stanza.
The third period proved crucial. With Sydney Fischbach and senior Erica Saine both picking up their third fouls midway through, plus Santaguida picking up her fourth, the Jays had an opportunity to break through. They were within a point of the lead twice within the final four minutes of the stanza but couldn’t come up with the big shot, plus they committed four turnovers (17 total) in that span. Finally, Stolly hit a transition layup with 4.1 ticks on the clock for a 30-27 edge.
“We just couldn’t get over that hump. We couldn’t hit the big shot or we made the mistake,” Grothouse added. “It was a one-possession game for a long time but they finally pulled away. It’s all part of the process of learning because we know we are a work in progress.”
The Jays got within two points twice in the first two minutes of the finale but no farther. They were still within 36-33 on two free throws by Sydney Fischbach at 5:02 but senior Liz Kidd buried a triple from the left corner at the 3:10 mark that seemed to take the wind out of the Blue and Gold’s sails. The T-Birds didn’t shoot free throws very well for the game (12-of-27 for 44.4%) but hit 9-of-18 in the fourth, including 7-of-14 in the last 2:17, to salt it away.
St. John’s notched 17-of-41 shooting (3-of-8 long range) for 41.5 percent and 4-of-10 at the line (40%). They grabbed 33 rebounds (9 offensive) as Zuber and freshman Jessica Geise had four each. Saine added three assists. They totaled 20 fouls and return to action at high noon Saturday — moved up from its original 6 p.m. junior varsity tip due to the school’s football playoff game that night — at home versus St. Marys Memorial.
Lima Central Catholic finished 18-of-50 shooting (3-of-16 triples) for 36 percent. They attracted 36 rebounds (15 offensive) as Shepherd added seven. They amassed 11 errors and 13 fouls and take on those same Roughriders Tuesday.
In JV action, the Jays pelted the T-Birds 35-15.
Freshman Madilynn Schulte led the effort with 11.
LCC (1-2) received four each by Shannon Daley and Shelby Donnelly.
ST. JOHN’S (41)
Tara Vorst 1-0-2, Rebekah Fischer 0-0-0, Emilie Fischbach 2-2-7, Brooke Zuber 2-0-5, Rachel Pohlman 0-0-0, Erica Saine 1-0-3, Amanda Boberg 4-0-8, Jessica Geise 1-0-2, Lexie Hays 0-0-0, Sydney Fischbach 6-2-14. Totals 14-3-4/10-41.
LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC (51)
Sydney Santaguida 2-0-4, Meredith Shepherd 3-4-10, Liz Kidd 2-0-6, Sydney Mohler 1-3-5, Natalie Snider 2-1-5, Madison Stolly 7-4-19, Kayla Verhoff 1-0-2. Totals 15-3-12/27-51.
Score by Quarters:
St. John’s 8 9 10 14 - 41
Lima Cen. Cath. 17 7 8 21 - 51
Three-point goals: St. John’s, E. Fischbach, Zuber, Saine; Lima Central Catholic, Kidd 2, Stolly.
ST. JOHN’S (35)
Brooke Richardson 0-0-0, Madilynn Schulte 4-1-11, Emilie Grothouse 2-0-5, Maddy Jettinghoff 0-0-0, Maddie Pohlman 0-0-0, Lauren Ladd 0-0-0, Halie Benavidez 2-1-5, Sam Kramer 0-0-0, Samantha Wehri 3-1-7, Colleen Schulte 2-2-7. Totals 9-4-5/12-35.
LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC (15)
Shannon Daley 2-0-4, Emma Baumgartner 0-0-0, Samantha Koenig 0-1-1, Myla McCrary 1-0-3, Natalie Snider 1-1-3, Shelby Donnelly 1-2-4, Mikaela Dahill 0-0-0, Alana Delgado 0-0-0, Samantha Judy 0-0-0. Totals 4-1-4/8-15.
Score by Quarters:
St. John’s 11 3 13 8 - 35
Lima Cen. Cath. 3 3 4 5 - 15
Three-point goals: St. John’s, M. Schulte 2, Grothouse, C. Schulte; Lima Central Catholic, McCrary.