St. Vincent girls basketball coach Melvin Kirn preaches at the end of nearly every game the importance of limiting turnovers.
That couldn’t have been any closer to the truth on Saturday. The Indians were forced into 27 turnovers as they fell to visiting Herculaneum 66-47 at St. Vincent High School as the Blackcats spoil senior day.
“This was a big game and something that we had our eyes on for days now, because if we could have won, we could have been tri-champions with St. Pius and Herculaneum,” Kirn said. “But I couldn’t be anymore proud of the girls because they fought all the way to the end.”
As a result of the contest, Herculaneum stands alone at the top of the JCAA- small schools division.
The Indians hung with the Blackcats for a majority of the first quarter as a three-pointer by Lola Dauster put the Indians ahead 5-4 with 3:30 left in the period. Over the next three minutes the Blackcats received three-pointers from Page Fowler, Abby Kostecki, and Emily Wiese to spark a 9-2 to end the quarter, as the Blackcats led 13-7.
“We were hanging with with them and had forced several turnovers, but weren’t able to turn them into points,” Kirn said. “The three-pointers there toward the end of the quarter really hurt us. We never really recovered from that.”
That’s when the turnover bug of sorts bit the Indians as they were forced into 10 turnovers in the second quarter and were outscored 20-8 in the frame. The Indians had a total of 17 turnovers in the first half alone.
“We had may too many turnovers,” Kirn said. “We lost by 19 points and if we cut the turnovers in half, we are in the ball game. We have to stop some of the lazy passes and different things, but we lost to a better team today and Herculaneum deserves to be champions of our conference.”
The Indians were led by Lacey Best and Genevieve Lipe with 13 points apiece, while Addie Cates chipped in 10 points.
Herculaneum was led by Fowler’s 17 points, along with Wiese’s 14 points. Maddi Dearing chipped in 11 points for the Blackcats.
One of the few bright spots in the contest came at the end of the third quarter when Best hit a three-pointer at the buzzer and while the outcome was firmly in the grasp for Herculanuem, Kirn loved the way his team fought until the very end of the game. The Indians outscored Herculaneum 14-10 in the final frame.
“We were down by a lot there in the second half, but we just kept fighting,” Kirn said. “I liked to see that because it shows that we will fight until the final buzzer and that’s how we need to compete.”
Before the game, the seven St. Vincent seniors were honored as they played in quite possibly their final regular season game.
“They have meant so much to the program in what they have accomplished so far,” Kirn said. “They have been a joy to coach and I hope I get to do so for as many games as possible.”