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Girls Basketball: Saints edge Panthers for first win of season

January 09, 2013|By CURT HORNBECKER | curt.hornbecker@herald-mail.com

ST. JAMES — While the Saint James girls basketball team would have rather celebrated this occasion much earlier in the season, it was sweet nonetheless.

The Saints got the monkey off their backs by avenging a painful one-point loss to Hancock a month ago with a 48-46 victory over the Panthers Wednesday night, marking their first win of the season.

“I told them just to go out there and play with confidence, and not back down” said Saint James coach, Jim Fahey. “I can’t say how proud I am of them. I challenged them, and they responded.”

And it was anything but easy for the Saints (1-6). Trailing by three at the half, Saint James rode Kerri Kline’s 10 third-period points — combined with 10 Panthers turnovers — to forge a 39-33 advantage entering the final eight minutes.

“We self-destructed,” said Hancock coach Todd Ruppenthal. “We missed seven layups in a two-minute stretch. We can’t afford to squander seven possessions. We have to fight for everything we get.”

“We switched defenses (at halftime), and I thought that was key,” said Fahey. “Our girls played a lot more aggressively.”

Two Lisle Bruns field goals to open the fourth quarter put Saint James up 43-33, but the Panthers (7-5) were not about to roll over. Kristen Shoemaker hit seven of eight free throws, and Kara McKinley drained a 3-pointer to spark a 10-3 Hancock run, closing the gap to 46-43, with 75 seconds remaining.

Kathy Pennington hit one of two free throws with 1:01 left to increase the lead to four, but Alisa Shives hit the first of two free throws for the Panthers, rebounded her second shot, and made the layup, cutting the margin to 47-46.

Bruns hit one of two free throws at the other end with 16 seconds left, and Hancock turned the ball over.

A Saint James turnover with 0.7 seconds left gave the Panthers one last chance, but Shives’ 3-point attempt bounced off the rim to end Hancock’s hopes.

“Our intensity was really good,” said Fahey. “We just refused to lose.”

After darting to a 10-2 first-quarter lead behinds Bruns’ six points, the Panthers reeled off 10 of the next 12 points for a 12-12 tie after eight minutes.

Sara Wagner scored 10 of her 14 points in the second quarter to hand Hancock a 28-25 edge at the half.

Wagner finished with 14 points for Hancock, followed by Shoemaker with 13, and Shives with 11.

Bruns’ 18 points led Saint James, with Kline adding 15.

Saint James 48, Hancock 46
HANCOCK (7-5)
McKinley 5, Shives 11, Shoemaker 13, Brown 3, Wagner 14. Totals 14 14-19 46.
SAINT JAMES (1-6)
Ludwick 6, Kline 15, Fahey 2, Bruns 18, Guillard 2, Pennington 1, Jenkinson 4. Totals 21 3-7 48.
Hancock    12    16    5    13    —    46
Saint James    12    13    14    9    —    48
3-point goals — Hancock 4 (Shives 2, McKinley, Brown), Saint James 3 (Kline 3). Fouled out — Fahey, Ludwick.

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