2017-02-09 / Sports

St. Ignace Saints Girls Defeat Newberry Indians in Straits Area Conference Play

By Kevin R. Hess

Keshia Davis puts the ball up for the St. Ignace Saints. Keshia Davis puts the ball up for the St. Ignace Saints. The Newberry Indians came into LaSalle High School upset-minded, but the Saints held off a very game Newberry squad and won the game 49-40 Thursday, February 2.

The game saw several ties and lead changes, and neither team led by more than six until the final minutes of the game. Newberry (7-6, 5-3 SAC) came out strong, led by sisters Taylor and Makenna Bryant. Taylor’s ball handling neutralized a St. Ignace defense that is known for its defensive pressure, and Makenna’s shooting gave Newberry an early lead. The Saints (12-2, 4-2 SAC) double-teamed Taylor most of the night and were able to deflect the ball and force some turnovers. When she did have the ball in her hands, she quickly advanced it up the floor and was able to find open teammates. Newberry ended the first quarter with a 15-13 lead. The two teams went back and forth in the second quarter, with Newberry outscoring the Saints 11-10 to take a 26-23 halftime lead.

Coach Dorene Ingalls wasn’t happy with the slow start, and she let her team know it.

“That’s the most fiery I’ve been at halftime,” she said. “I felt like we came out slow and took ourselves lightly. I wanted to see who was going to respond in the second half.”

Whatever she said must have worked, as the Saints came out strong in the third quarter. Senior Jordan Belleville made a quick three-pointer from the corner to tie the game, beginning an 8-0 run for the Saints. Belleville scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half. The three-point deficit quickly became a five-point lead, with strong on-the-ball defense and crisp ball movement that led to open shots and offensive rebounds. They were able to stretch the lead to six before Taylor Bryant drove the length of the floor for a layup at the buzzer to make the score 38-34 Saints after three.

Offense was hard to come by in the fourth quarter. The St. Ignace defense started to wear down Newberry, who lacked the depth of the Saints team, and forced them into several turnovers. Saints senior Jade Edelman took a charge that wiped out a Newberry basket that would have cut the lead to three, possibly two if the foul had been called on the Saints. Instead, the lead remained five and St. Ignace had the ball. The Saints began to slow down the offensive pace, working the clock, and eventually forcing Newberry to have to foul. A few made free throws and some welltimed offensive rebounds kept Newberry at bay and gave the Saints the nine-point conference victory.

“We had to grind out an ugly win and the girls had to dig deep in the second half. We had some unforced turnovers and defensive lapses that allowed them to get the ball into the paint. We need to clean it up moving forward,” said Coach Ingalls.

Emily Coveyou led the Saints in scoring with 14 points, followed by Linnie Gustafson and Jordan Belleville with 12, and Keshia Davis with 10.

The Indians were led by Taylor Bryant with 15 points and Makenna Bryant with 11.

Saints Statistics: Emily Coveyou, 14 points, seven rebounds. Linnie Gustafson, 12 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, three blocks. Jordan Belleville, 12 points, four rebounds. Keshia Davis, 10 points, 10 rebounds, five steals. Jade Edelman, five rebounds, six assists.

Saints JV Wins, 65-30

The Saints JV squad (11-3) started slowly, but found their rhythm and pulled away for a 65-30 win over the Newberry Indians. Both teams missed open shots early, as the score was 4-0 Saints midway through the first quarter. St. Ignace finally started making some shots and a last-second score by Kylee Horn gave the Saints a 14- 3 lead after one. The offense was much more consistent in the second quarter, and the defense remained strong, leading the Saints to a 28-10 halftime lead.

The Saints’ strong shooting early in the third quarter quickly extended the lead to 25 points. Kylee Horn from the free throw line and Madison Olsen from three-point range led the charge. The Saints outscored the Indians 21-10 to take a 49-20 lead after three quarters.

Newberry couldn’t get anything going, thanks to the long arms of Olsen and Emma Feleppa, who combined to block nine shots. Every Saints player scored, and St. Ignace used a 16-10 fourth quarter to bring home the 35-point victory.

Saints Statistics: Emma Feleppa, 18 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks. Madison Olsen, 15 points, six blocks. Kylee Horn, 10 points, nine assists, six steals. Anna Hart, 10 points, seven steals, six assists. Lily McLean, four points, three steals. Kennedy Kammers, two points, five steals. Courtney Frazier, Riley Kita, Olivia Champion, two points each.

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