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Saints go back to basics, hold off Clear Spring

January 19, 2011|By WILL ROBINSON | Staff Correspondent

CLEAR SPRING — The Saint James girls basketball team overcame a slow start and poor shooting to prevail 43-40 over Clear Spring on Wednesday night.

The Saints (6-3) trailed 9-6 at the end of the first quarter, with Kayla Peterson netting four of her eight total points for Saint James.

Reserves Margaret Bacon and Jordan Wills found their strokes in the second quarter, scoring six points apiece in the period to lead Saint James to an 18-15 halftime lead.

“We had to go back to our basic offense and go to our spread defense,” said Saint James coach Shawn Burgener. “We had to look for our shooting and driving lanes.”

The Saints found their lanes but could not finish, shooting only 9 of 31 in the first half. Their defense played effectively, though, holding Clear Spring to 6 of 22 shooting from the floor. Jess Barnhart led the Blazers (2-10) with eight of her game-high 18 points in the first half.

The Blazers (2-10) used a 7-3 run to take a brief 22-21 lead in the third quarter, but a field goal from Wills ended the threat for good.

Neither team was able to get into a rhythm in the second half due to near-constant fouling, but the Saints’ superior half-court defense kept the Blazers away from the boards. Saint James finished with a 57-23 advantage in rebounding, led by Taylor Deveaux’s 17 boards.

“The half-court defense developed out of itself out of necessity,” Burgener said. “It ended up being a close game. We had to keep them from scoring.”

The last frame came down to a gritty battle to decide the victor. With Saint James up four, Heather Schlotterbeck hit a clutch field goal to get Clear Spring within two. The Saints’ Taylor Goodie hit 1 of 2 free throws with three seconds left, but the Blazers couldn’t get a shot off before the final buzzer.

“Give credit to Saint James, they hit their free throws when they needed to,” said Clear Spring coach Adam Hoopengardner. “They wanted this game more than we did.”

Despite going 8 for 12 from the line in the fourth quarter, Clear Spring only hit 12 of 23 free throws as a team.

Though this has been a tough season for the Blazers, one thing that hasn’t faltered is their tenacity.

“Most teams play until the final buzzer, and that is exactly what we do,” said Hoopengardner. “We never give up on the game. We play hard until that last buzzer sounds.”

JV: Clear Spring, 51-19 (CS: Holly Reynard 18; SJ: Alicia Herrera 9).

Saint James 43, Clear Spring 40
SAINT JAMES (6-3)

Bacon 4 2-4 10, Bruns 3 0-2 6, Deveaux 1 2-3 4, Goodie 0 2-4 2, Kline 1 0-0 2, K. Peterson 3 2-4 8, Wills 5 1-2 11. Totals 17 9-19 43.
CLEAR SPRING (2-10)
Forrest 3 1-4 7, Schlotterbeck 2 3-6 7, Dunning 2 0-1 4, Barnhart 5 8-12 18, Mills 2 0-0 4. Totals 18 12-23 40.
Saint James    6    12    11    14    —    43
Clear Spring    9    6    9    16    —    40

Rebounds — Saint James 57 (Deveaux 17), Clear Spring 23 (Dunning 7). Assists — Saint James 6 (Deveaux 2, K. Peterson 2, Wills 2), Clear Spring 5 (Schlotterbeck 2). Steals — Saint James 11 (Bacon 3, Bruns 3, Kline 3); Clear Spring 13 (Schlotterbeck 4). Turnovers — Saint James 27, Clear Spring 21. Fouled out — Deveaux, Purdham.

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