Saint Mary’s splits results at home against Block Bears

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Jenna Sklar, an eighth grader, takes it to the hoop in the paint in the 66-30 win over Block Bears.

Saint Mary’s Lady Tigers and Tigers split results at home against Block Bears. The Lady Tigers started the action at home Tuesday evening and were in control from the opening tip off. Saint Mary’s exerted heavy pressure on a Bear team that had no answers. Full court press on inbounds plays was trouble for the Bears.

The Lady Bears set a zone defense that gave St. Mary’s little trouble. Patiently moving the ball and passing till opening shots appeared resulted in a big lead for the Tigers. They jumped out to a double-digit advantage and rained in three pointers. Lady Tigers starters were just too much for a limited numbers Block team.

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#12 Arrington and #21 Woods were the only bright spots in an otherwise overmatched Bear team. #12 Arrington was nearly perfect from the free-throw line and had the majority of the Lady Bear points. The starting five for Saint Mary’s (Errington, Lipa, Bienvenu x2 and Parker) battled in the paint for rebounds on both ends of the court.

In the end, the staggering lead allowed the bench some minutes of play. It was all Lady Tigers in this one and they cruise to a 66-30 victory over Block. They return to action on the road against LaSalle Friday night.

The boy’s game was a thriller! Saint Mary’s won the tip and Mixon Bankston advanced the ball into the front court to run the Tiger offense against a Bear 1-3-1 zone defense. The Tigers were without senior Tristen Mitchell. The teams traded ends of the court and with about two minutes off the clock, St. Mary’s scored first on a three ball from the left side of the arc by Dane Files. He would sink four more threes in the first half to lead scoring with 15. Saint Mary’s led by as many as nine points 19-10 in early action and played a man-to-man defense against the taller Block team. With two-minutes and change, the Bear’s tied things up.

The teams traded leads and went into the halftime break at 27 points each.

With 3:44 in the third period, the score tied again at 36 before Files has to sit with four fouls. He returned to the court to add valuable minutes, but D. J. Ridley fouled out after several questionable ref calls. The game was tied 49 each with four minutes remaining in the final period. Block pulls out a two possession lead 56-51 with under a minute remaining on the shooting and rebounding of #24 Jefferson and #25 Stevenson. Both big men were trouble for the Tigers on the boards. Bankston rattles in a three-pointer on the next trip down the court and makes it 56-54 Block.

Full court pressure by the Tigers on the inbounds play causes trouble for Block. What looked like a kicked ball and possible turnover to St. Mary’s is ruled in favor of the Bears. On the inbounds to Green, he is fouled and goes to the line and makes only one. 57-54 Block as St. Mary’s inbounds and Payne Williams sinks a short-range jumper in the lane.

A one-point game now as Block inbounds. St. Mary’s quickly fouls Jefferson, sending him to the line for the 1-and-1. Jefferson misses the front end, but Block gets the rebound. Bankston fouls Jefferson with 3.2 seconds on the clock. The foul is called as flagrant and puts Jefferson at the line and gives Block the ball after the free throws.

A very questionable call that assures Block the victory 59-56 in a close, exciting game.

Saint Mary’s will return to action Friday night on the road at LaSalle for continued action.

In print Jan. 28, 2021