St. James felt the pressure Saturday night in Camdenton.
The Tigers took on the hometown Lakers in the night cap of the Laker Shootout and the hosts did not exactly make their guests feel welcome as St. James coughed up 33 turnovers in an 89-64 defeat.
“What Camdenton does is try to get you to play fast and it worked. We stayed in a hurry whether we were pressured or not and they (Camdenton) do a good job of getting after it, speeding you up and tapping to create deflections,” St. James coach Terry Wells said. “We did not do a good job of taking care of it so it is just something we need to work on.”
Although the final score may not indicate it, this contest was actually much closer than it may initially appear. Despite 20 first half turnovers, St. James opened the game on a 6-0 run and trailed by just five points after the first quarter and 46-36 by halftime. However, the turnovers added up and eventually created a hole too deep to dig out of.
St. James junior Alyssa Rinehart knocked down four 3-pointers on her way to a team-leading 14 points while junior Mikaela Donnelly added 11, both freshman Bailey Wells and senior Quinn Paulus knocked down eight and both Hannah Marcee and junior Ashlyn Rinehart finished with seven.
“Scoring was not the problem, but that is what they (Camdenton) do,” Wells said of facing the Laker defense. “There are going to be some openings with Camdenton and they are just counting on you making more mistakes than they do and capitalizing. I told the girls after the game that Camdenton controlled the pace and tempo, dictated everything going on and we got frustrated with it. We have to do a better job of trying to play our game.”
And for Wells, that should be the case no matter who St. James is facing. A loss is never fun, but there can always be lessons to take away from it.
“That is why you schedule games like this against good teams. We are a Class 3, they are a Class 5 and that is fine, but we still have to come out here and do our jobs and learn lessons from it,” Wells said. “The way they pressure the ball, maybe later in the season we are trying to protect the lead and a team is getting after us so we can use something from this game in order to be successful in that situation.”
St. James (10-9) will look to get back on track with a trip to Francis Howell on Monday night at 7 p.m.
“We just have to continue to grow, start to refocus and maybe tighten the screws on our defense a little bit,” Wells noted. “We are usually a pretty good defensive team and the last couple of games we have not come out and got stops.”