Shelby Allberry scored a game-high 19 points for the St. Pat’s Lady Irish, along with 17 points from Samantha Byrn and 16 from Brook Boucher to dismantle the Gothenburg Lady Swedes 58-37 on Thursday at McGahan Activities Center.
In boys action, St. Pat’s dominated the final minutes of each of the first three quarters in downing the Swedes 58-41 to move to 4-0 on the season.
St. Pat’s coach William O’Malley was pleased with his team’s play to close each quarter.
“I was really pleased with our intensity,” O’Malley said. “We weren’t always efficient offensively, but I thought we were really working to get good shots every possession. I thought our focus was good and a step in the right direction.”
Gothenburg took a 5-4 lead over the Irish at the 4-minute, 22-second mark of the opening quarter on a shot in the lane by Logan Koehler, but the Irish followed that with a 10-0 run to lead 14-5.
Joseph Clinch hit a 5-footer on the baseline followed by back-to-back 3s by Sean Keenan. Alex Harms finished the run with a nice move in the lane.
Gothenburg’s Aaron Collins broke the run as he hit an estimated 40-footer at the buzzer to close to 14-8.
“That’s been a problem so far in this early season, is we’ve given up some runs,” said Gothenburg coach Roger Koehler. “St. Pat’s is a good team. They have some nice athletes and obviously are coached very well. They did make a nice push there and those were key points.”
The two teams traded early baskets in the second quarter, but the Irish closed the half scoring 10 of the final 12 points. This time it was Keenan hitting from 28 feet at the buzzer, as the Irish took a 37-22 lead into the locker room.
Midway through the quarter, the Swedes found the high-low combination of Tanner Borchardt and Logan Koehler on several hook-ups.
“That’s something we work, because we’re going to have some size on them,” coach Koehler said. “Our big guys are our bread and butter. We’ve got to get it in to them — but — we have to get someone to step up from outside and hit some shots.
“The thing that is frustrating is they can hit them in practice. They’re decent shooters, but they’re not stepping out on the court to hit them. Hopefully we’ll get there.”
The Irish continually tried to penetrate the Swede defense that sported a lineup of 6-foot, 8-inch Borchardt, 6-7 Koehler and 6-4 Collins.
“We felt like we really needed to attack their size,” O’Malley said.” If you try to play too much finesse against guys that big you get a lot of shots blocked.”
Gothenburg (1-4) began the second half with a 6-0 run, cutting the Irish lead to 37-28. Blake Ristine hit two baseline jumpers and Borchardt grabbed an offensive board and scored for the Swedes.
“We talked about not letting them put together back-to-back baskets and being a little more deliberate offensively,” said O’Malley. “We probably tried to force the ball a little bit too much early in that third quarter which afforded them some quick back-to-back opportunities.”
St. Pat’s began the fourth quarter in an unusual way by scoring two early baskets, making it tough for a Swede comeback. The Irish finished the game with four in double-figure scoring.
“The contributions we got from everybody is really encouraging,” O’Malley said. “It was a situation where we really did try to attack the basket and were able to find people when a defender would come over to help, so that was good.”
Gothenburg (1-4) ................ 8 14 8 11 — 41
St. Pat’s (4-0) ................... 14 23 7 14 — 58
G: Connor Schwanz 2, 0, 0/0, 4; Aaron Collins 1, 1, 2/2, 7; Logan Sheets 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Blake Ristine 3, 0, 0/0, 6; Roy Slack 0, 0,, 1; Tanner Borchardt 4, 0,, 9; Logan Koehler 3, 1,, 10; Jake Peterson 1, 0, 0/0, 2.
S: Sean Keenan 4, 4, 0/0, 20; Joseph O’Malley 2, 1, 3/3, 10; Joseph Clinch 6, 0, 0/1, 12; Alex Harms 2, 0, 0/0, 4; Mark Mayfield 5, 0, 2/2, 12.
Lady Irish stay unbeaten
So far in the 2012-13 basketball season, the Lady Irish of St. Pat’s have lived up to their preseason No. 3 ranking in Class C-2. The Lady Irish are currently sitting with a 5-0 record and came out of the gate quickly against the Lady Swedes.
St. Pat’s opened with a 9-0 run and the Lady Swedes struggled to stay with the Lady Irish. Shelby Allberry opened with a bucket in the paint and Brook Boucher followed with two on a break. Sam Byrn was 2-of-2 at the line and then hit a 3 from the left corner to finish the run.
The Lady Irish ended the first quarter at 15-7 when Boucher scored on a Byrn assist.
“The girls came ready to play,” said Lady Irish coach Nathan Stienike. “Defensively we did a good job. We got into a little foul trouble, so it limited our pressing options and we had to play more of the half-court defense.”
Gothenburg (2-3) found the going tough with the presence of 6-foot, 3-inch Brittany Lawrence in the middle, helped out by the 5-11 Allberry.
“With their size and athletic ability it limited us on what we could do,” said Lady Swedes coach Chris Lecher. “We tried to be patient, but when we did get looks we couldn’t capitalize on them.”
St. Pat’s dominated the second quarter as well, outscoring the Lady Swedes by a 16-7 margin. Allberry scored 12 of her game-high 19 points in the quarter. With Byrn and Boucher also hitting double figures, the Lady Irish had a deadly trio.
“Those girls played well tonight,” said Stienike. “Shelby hit some nice outside shots.”
The Lady Irish were also solid at the free throw line, hitting 10-of-12 for the game.
“We shot real good from the free throw line as well,” said Stienike. “It’s been a couple games in a row we have shot well from the line. The girls put in a lot of time this summer and it’s paying off.”
St. Pat’s went on to outscore Gothenburg 27-23 in the final two quarters to keep their unblemished record alive. Because of the foul problems, the Lady Irish were forced to use their bench. Stienike was happy with the contribution he got.
“Our subs came in and did a good job when we were in foul trouble,” the coach said. “We went a little more to the bench early on than we normally do, but the girls battled through that.”
Only four Lady Swedes found themselves in the scoring column. A problem Lecher said has been all too common.
“That’s been our issue this year, trying to get consistent points from multiple people,” Lecher said. “That’s been an issue for us and we’re still working on it.”
St. Pat’s was successful using a 1-3-1 zone defense against Gothenburg, as they held their third opponent out of five below the 40-point mark.
“[Gothenburg] was trying to pound it in the paint just like us,” Stienike said. “Brittany and Shelby did a good job in the paint limiting their shots or altering them.”
Gothenburg (2-3) ................ 7 7 11 12 — 37
St. Pat’s (5-0) .................. 15 16 14 13 — 58
G: Brittyn Munster 0, 1,, 6; Regan Geiken 5, 0,, 13; Jacey Wiggins 4, 0,, 10; Taylor Wolf 4, 0, 0/1, 8.
S: Mandy O’Malley 0, 1, 0/0, 3; Samantha Byrn 4, 1, 6/6, 17; Brook Boucher 5, 2, 0/0, 16; Shelby Allberry 5, 2,, 19; Brittany Lawrence 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Erin Nozicka 0, 0,, 1.