By Trent Friedel, exclusive to the Times
Lady Tiger basketball returned home Friday night to face district foe Northwood Lena. Saint Mary’s entered the game with an 8 and 8 record and holding the No. eight seed in the Division IV power rankings. Saint Mary’s was quick to pounce on the Gators opening a 10-point advantage leading 15 -5 after the first period of play. The Lady Tigers gained the advantage on solid defensive pressure and decent rebounding.
The lead would grow to 22- 8 with more than half of the first half expired. Maria Bienvenu was tenacious in the low post and fought hard on every Tiger possession. Her play led to free throws and it allowed the Tigers to go on a seven to one run; extending the score to 29 – 9 with 2:19 on the clock. Saint Mary’s leads big, 31 – 13 as both teams head to the locker room. Jensen Parker continues the scoring frenzy coming out of the half hitting a three-point shot from the top of the key.
The Gators try to exert pressure on the Tigers by setting the full court press. That attempt at throttling the Tigers fails as the home team breaks the press with relative ease. The score advantage swells to an average of 20 points and the Tigers hold a 45 -23 lead after three quarters.
Fourth period action mimicked the third with the Gators trying in vain to slow down the Tigers. Continued pressure from the Gators led to continued Tiger scoring. Once the ball was inbounded by Saint Mary’s, they usually found scoring opportunity in the front court finding open shooters on nearly every trip down court.
Toward the end of the game, the Tigers add insult to the Gator injury by sinking a contested three pointer and finish the game with a 59 – 30 victory.