Blazers Shirk off challenge from Saints

January 23, 2008|By LARRY YANOS

ST. JAMES - Sophomore Paige Shirk scored the go-ahead basket and pulled down two big rebounds in the final minute of play Tuesday, sparking the Clear Spring girls to a 47-44 win over St. James.

With the score tied at 44 with 46 seconds remaining in the game, Shirk scored from the paint to put the Blazers (3-9) in front. Sarah Dice later added a foul shot for a three-point lead.

St. James (4-11) missed two 3-pointers in the waning seconds which would have forced an overtime.

"Paige had a nice game. She has really improved," Clear Spring coach Greg Henry said. "I was pleased with the overall team effort. This is the most points we have scored all season. We haven't done a bad job defensively this season, but we just have been having trouble scoring."

Henry also enjoyed the play of junior Andrea Baum, who led the Blazers with 13 points.


"She came out of a shooting slump. We need her offense," Henry said.

St. James led 28-24 at halftime, but was outscored 15-2 in the third quarter.

Instead of conceding the contest, though, the Saints made a run at the start of the fourth period and finally tied the score at 44 on Heather Lowery's basket with 1:21 remaining in the game.

"We went to a half-court zone trap in the third quarter and it worked. We were able to score some baskets," Henry said. "Defense is what wins games. We were strong in the third quarter and then allowed them back in the game. I was still pleased with the effort, especially coming off a one-point loss to Hancock."

St. James coach Billy Crawford said the pressure defense by Clear Spring and a poor shooting effort by his own team in the third quarter made things difficult.

"We did come back, even had a chance to tie the game at the end," Crawford said. "We just missed so many shots in the third quarter. That hurt."

Shirk finished with 11 points for the Blazers. Lowery had 17 points and Caroline Salisbury added 11 for the Saints.

The Herald-Mail Articles