The St. James girls basketball team (11-10, 2-1 FRC) traveled to Pacific for a Four Rivers Conference matchup on Thursday, Feb. 1. The Lady Tigers used exceptional defense to crush Pacific 50-29.
St. James decided to make some adjustments on the defensive end after three straight losses and it paid off in spades. Head coach Terry Wells said the key to their defensive success came from communication as they executed their new scheme.
"The kids played hard and communicated well today," said the St. James head coach. "We switched up a lot of things defensively and put in some new things going into this game so communication and effort were vital to make up for the mistakes I knew we were going to make executing our defensive scheme."
The Lady Tigers didn't make those mistakes early, as they played phenomenal defense in the first half. After taking a 12-8 lead through a quarter of play, St. James allowed just two points in the second quarter. That stellar defense helped lift them to a 23-10 lead at the half.
The defense carried into the second half, as St. James won all four quarters on Thursday night. The Lady Tigers outscored Pacific 14-8 in the third to extend their led to 37-18 heading into the fourth quarter. Pacific tried to punch their way back into the game with their only double digit quarter in the fourth, but St. James again won the quarter 13-11 to finish off a 50-29 win.
While defense was key, coach Wells said one of the other major keys was rebounding. The Lady Tigers rebounded well despite a size disadvantage, with Hannah Marcee leading the charge with 10 boards.
"Our number one key going in was to rebound the basketball against a team with a big size advantage against us," said coach Wells. "They fought like crazy on the boards and that was a big key to our success."
Bailey Wells led St. James offensive with 16 points, while adding six rebounds. Ashlynn Rinehart added 11 points and her sister Alyssa chipped in with six. Marcee had seven points to go along with her 10 rebounds. Savanna had a great all-around game at the point with nine points, five assists and three steals.
"The kids did great and played like they were having fun," said coach Wells. "Savanna Riccetti was an absolute floor general for us tonight. We played eight kids and every single one of them had a good game. Hopefully we can build on this down the stretch."
The Lady Tiger JV also won on Thursday night, using a phenomenal fourth quarter to get a comeback 38-32 win over Pacific. Audrey Marcee led St. James with 12 points in the JV game with Camille Bullock, Caily Sanders and Alexis Birkner each adding six points.
St. James will look to build on this win as they finish off their season with a string of Four Rivers Conference games. The Lady Tigers have four games left on their regular season schedule, all against conference teams. Next up is a home game against Owensville on Monday, Feb. 5.