The first words after the game that St. Vincent coach Mel Kirn spoke was just how badly he felt his team needed a victory. The Lady Indians were on a three-game losing streak and were looking for anything positive to happen.
They found it on Thursday.
St. Vincent led from start to finish and used a big second quarter run to separate themselves in a 49-30 victory over Crystal City.
“I think this game got us believing again that we can win games,” Kirn said. “We really didn’t play up to our potential against Perryville, St. Paul or St. Pius and this game can be a real confidence booster.”
Crystal City was keeping it close as Kate Eisenbeis scored on an offensive rebound putback to narrow the Indians’ lead to 12-10 with five minutes left in the second quarter. From there it was all St. Vincent.
Addie Cates swished a 3-pointer that sparked a 16-2 run over the next three minutes. Mary Schwartz stole a pass and passed it ahead to Genevieve Lipe for a lay-up for a 19-12 lead and Lipe then beat her defender off the dribble for a lay-up and Schwartz made a steal for an easy basket by Barber. Lola Dauster capped the run with a 3-pointer that gave St. Vincent a 28-12 advantage with 1:45 left before the half. St. Vincent led 32-14 at the break.
Kirn felt the run was sustained thanks to the pressure defense and his team’s ability to convert the fast break opportunities. St. Vincent forced seven turnovers in the second quarter alone and 21 for the contest as a whole.
“The defense turned it up and anytime we can get easy baskets it makes us just that much better,” Kirn said. “If we can get steals that will work into our offense and it really helped us get onto a roll.”
St. Vincent was led by Lipe, who had 15 points in the contest, while Addie Cates and Reese Barber added 11 points apiece. Eisenbeis led all scorers with 17, but the Hornets had just four players score in the game, while St. Vincent boasted nine players who got into the scorebook.
We had practice the other night and I told them that I don’t care who scores for us, I just want the win and for us to play well,” Kirn said. “Tonight it looked like everyone was doing their part.”
Crystal City made a 5-0 run to start the second half that cut the St. Vincent lead to 12 and forced St. Vincent to call a timeout. But the Indians responded with a Barber lay-up and a 3-pointer by Cates.
St. Vincent started the game with back-to-back baskets by Barber, but then Crystal City responded with a small run of their own led by Eisenbeis. The Hornets took a small one point lead until Barber splashed home a 3-pointer to give St. Vincent an 8-6 lead and St. Vincent never trailed again.
Kirn hopes the victory will give St. Vincent momentum has they enter the last few weeks of the season.
“This is when you want to be playing your best basketball, against district and conference opponents,” Kirn said. “This is a step in the right direction.”