Back 2 back home games yield double victories


The start of district competition that was delayed by COVID-19 quarantine resulted in several rescheduled games this week for the Tigers and Lady Tigers. After losses last week to Northwood -Lena and Logansport by both squads, they returned to their home confines for consecutive games as the season wanes. Last weeks action is summed up here. The Lady Tigers trailed Northwood from the outset last week and only had seven points late into the second period.

At the halftime break, the Lady Gators led 28-11. Numbers 22 and 23 for Northwood proved double trouble for the Lady Tigers in the paint. Ava Errington’s three 3s in a row shortened the gap at the end of three periods 36-25. The Lady Gators did most of their damage with essentially four players as Jensen Parker all but neutralized #5. In the end, the Lady Gators were too much for St. Mary’s and won 47-36.

The Lady Tigers then went on the road and put-up points scoring 62 but that was just a bit shy. They lost to Logansport 64-62, a high scoring ladies’ game. The boys put forth a valiant effort in their home game with District leading Northwood. The Gators jumped out to an early 7-0 lead. Saint Mary’s was unable to make layups and heavy Gator pressure produced multiple steals. Half of the first period expired before SMH recorded any points. Despite lack of ball control, the Tigers only trailed by seven after the first period, 18-11. An 8-0 scoring run by the Tigers capped by a Bankston 3 gave Saint Mary’s their first lead. Northwood answered quickly, took the lead and held a 10-point advantage at the half. 34-24.

Northwood-Lena opened things up in the third and never looked back. They cruised to a 68-52 win. The end of the week action at Logansport provided the same score for the Tiger opposition. A closer game but still a loss on the road as the Tigers fall 68-61. Returning home Monday, the Lady Tigers faced LaSalle. A close game from the outset and the Lady Tigers led by two, 12-10, at the break. LaSalle tied the game on the first possession of the third period. Foul trouble for LaSalle’s #00 with 2:35 in the third limited her effectiveness. LaSalle’s ball pressure was not effective against the Lady Tigers and they pulled ahead 23-17.

Saint Mary’s could not decisively gain distance and LaSalle hung around only trailing by threeto start the fourth. The Lady Tigers ran their offense patiently and, in the process, the clock too. The lead grew to 31-22 with 3:05 to go. Saint Mary’s again bleeds clock and Kenzie Lipa goes to the line where she hit one of two. Final score is 33-27 and Ava Errington had 13 points on the evening.

The boy’s action Monday was highlighted by Dane Files. He sparked the offense with five consecutive threes to start the game. Full court pressure by SMH was tough for LaSalle to handle. The home Tigers led 22-11 after the first period. Continued hustle and harassment by Saint Mary’s resulted in steals and scores. The turnovers hurt LaSalle and created an insurmountable gap. The first half ended on an outlet pass after a rebound to an open Files who slammed it down. Saint Mary’s led 43-21 at the half and Files had 24 of those 43 first half points.

Lady Tigers faced full court pressure

LaSalle was outmatched from the outset and trailed by 30 points after three periods of play. The final score, Saint Mary’s 71, LaSalle 38. Home court advantage persisted Tuesday for the Tigers and Lady Tigers. Saint Mary’s hosted Montgomery for Senior night. Four Ladies and two Gents were recognized. #20 Maggie Wheat, #21 Jensen Parker, #30 Laura Aviles and #32 Maggie Gilmore capped their time at Saint Mary’s as starters for the evening. Gilmore, Parker and Aviles are members of the LHSAA All-Academic Composite Team with a four-year 4.0 GPA. The 8-8 Lady Tigers played hard and worked on the offensive glass for rebounds and second chance points. Their three-point shots were not falling but that is not the only game they have.

The Montgomery Lady Tigers came to play, and the game went back and forth on several occasions. No. 15 Kirts was solid at the free-throw line and the Gongre sisters played well too. Montgomery led 24-23 at the end of the third quarter. Saint Mary’s pulled ahead in the fourth and won by eight 36-28. Parker was visibly emotional after sinking free-throws with 14.4 seconds remaining and taking a seat to crowd applause. #3 Dane Files and #5 Tristen Mitchell were the two Tigers recognized for Senior night. Mitchell has been valuable in the paint for St. Mary’s and Files is just lights out from beyond the arc when he is on.

full court pressure

Payne Williams, however, started the three show this evening. Montgomery got a 7-6 lead with 1:40 left in the first period and the score was tied after one. Williams went 4 for 4 from three land. As the clock ticked down after two, Files nailed a three at the buzzer and SMH led 25-18. Not to be outdone, Williams also sank a three to end the third, 42-34. Saint Mary’s pulled away and won 64-47 for a successful Senior night for both Saint Mary’s teams. One more district game remains for these teams on the road at Block.

The boys will likely miss out on postseason play but the Lady Tigers are currently 10th in the power rankings.

In Weekend, Feb. 113-14, 2021, print edition