By Trent Friedel, exclusive to the Times
The Saint Mary’s lady Tiger basketball team has been doing well. Since the Northwood Lena game, the Ladies have beaten Montgomery on the road, and a talented Logansport squad at home before losing to the Block Bears. The Ladies were the # 7 seed in Division IV 1-A prior to the Logansport game and have improved their record but not their seeding. Saint Mary’s led Logansport 27-25 after the first period of play.
The score would sit at 33 – 29 at half time in favor of the home team Tigers. Saint Mary’s extended the lead to 10 points, 49 -39 after three quarters and Maria Bienvenu had a big hand in the lead. She played with tenacity and going to the goal hard afforded her an option of the proverbial “and one.” Bienvenu was aided by McKinzie Lipa who was on fire. The final count was 61 – 53 in favor of Saint Mary’s.
The block game did not go as well for the Tigers. They fall to the number seven seed in Class 1-A, 43 – 33. The district is a close contest with Block, Logansport and Saint Mary’s in the mix.
LaSalle entered town Tuesday, Jan. 22 to compete in continued district action. Carissa Kautz won the tip and both teams traded scores early. Saint Mary’s held an 8 – 2 advantage with about half of the first quarter clock expired. Ragan Hale would get to the line after dribble drive penetration causes LaSalle to foul her. She sinks the free throws, 10 – 2. With 6.2 seconds on the clock in the first, LaSalle had narrowed the gap. #12 Long banks in an almost half court shot as the horn buzzed ending the first and making it a two-point game, 14 – 12. Both teams elect to play man to man defense.
Saint Mary’s misses a few layups and cannot seem to grab offensive boards. Hale goes to the line and gets the lead to six points, 18 – 12. Jensen Parker sinks a three ball from long range off the glass and Maggie Wheat adds a long two point shot to extend things for Saint Mary’s. It’s the start of a run for the Tigers as they pull ahead by as many as 14 points. That would be the deficit for LaSalle at the half, 29 – 15.
Saint Mary’s comes out of the locker room scoring on their first possession. Coach Collins emphasized that his team keep their eyes down court in transition as there are many opportunities for quick transition points. His charges heed the call and hold a 35 – 21 advantage with 3:08 remaining in the third.
#33 Skinner for LaSalle must sit with four fouls on her. LaSalle has possession with only seconds to go in the third and #00 Hilesteel hits a three as time expires. The great shot doesn’t alter the score that much as SMH leads 41 – 28. Frustration starts to mount in the final period for LaSalle and they commit several fouls after turnovers. Saint Mary’s continues to score in transition and the tempo is fast paced. Both teams are in the bonus in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. The home Tigers run the high pick and roll well, and it allows more scoring opportunities.
#12 Long, commits an egregious foul, determined to be a technical. The foul is against Hale as she attempted to penetrate the lane. Hale takes revenge at the free throw line and extends the Tiger lead further.