Perryville girls basketball coach Jason Dreyer had one sentiment for his team walking off the floor Saturday afternoon.
“It was ugly, but it’s a win,” he said.
That much was true.
Perryville and St. Vincent each struggled offensively, but the Pirates did just enough in the fourth quarter to capture the 39-30 victory over the Indians Saturday during the 25th annual Mayor’s Cup. Perryville has won five of the last six games against St. Vincent.
“I don’t think we handled the environment very well,” Dreyer said. “St. Vincent played very hard and I thought we were super scrappy. Both teams didn’t shoot the ball very well and I thought we missed almost every free throw we took. When it came down to the fourth quarter and it was a two-point game, I thought our team and, especially senior Brooklyn Moll, just said they were not losing today.”
Moll led all scorers with 20 points in the game, and even she struggled on the offensive side, as both teams missed at least one dozen shots at the rim. However, as bad as it was for both teams, either the Pirates or Indians could have won it in the end.
“We just didn’t have anybody to slow her down,” St. Vincent coach Mel Kirn said. “She was the difference.”
St. Vincent sophomore Rylee Robinson made a three-pointer to cut what was once a double-digit deficit at halftime to just two early in the fourth quarter. Perryville responded with a basket by Caroline Gremaud and Aby Amberger to stretch the lead to 29-23 and Moll scored with 3:30 left in regulation after a pair of St. Vincent free throws.
The Indians got closer a few points closer, partly because of the Pirates’ inability to close the game from the free throw line. Perryville went 5-17 alone in the fourth quarter, and 11-29 for the game.
Amberger sealed the game late with a steal and three-point play in the final minute, while Moll had seven in the fourth quarter alone. St. Vincent senior Cailyn Prost fouled out in the fourth quarter and Dreyer said that was the turning point for Perryville
“We took on ourselves to drive to the basket and be more aggressive on defense,” Dreyer said.
For St. Vincent, it was a tough night.
Much like Perryville, St. Vincent struggled offensively, scoring just two points in the second quarter on a basket by Robinson in the final minute of the first half. Perryville led 17-7 at the half.
“We didn’t quit,” St. Vincent coach Mel Kirn said. “We just couldn’t hit anything, it was one of those games. We got good shots, just nothing would fall.”
The Indians in a bit of an adjustment period, as the team is down their top three scorers from last season. Haley Emmendorfer will be out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, after hurting it Jan. 17 against Meadow Heights.
“This is the hand God handed us so we have to keep moving,” Kirn said. “We will have to have some people step up.”