2017-12-14 / Sports

St. Ignace Saints Use Fast Start To Pull Away from Trojans; Win Season Opener

By Kevin R. Hess


St. Ignace sophomore Anna Hart (left) looks for an opening to pass the ball, while Cedarville sophomore Lily Freel (back) and freshman Elysia Causley (right) ramp up the defensive pressure. The Saints used a big first half to take an early lead en route to a 61-29 victory Wednesday, December 6, in Cedarville. St. Ignace sophomore Anna Hart (left) looks for an opening to pass the ball, while Cedarville sophomore Lily Freel (back) and freshman Elysia Causley (right) ramp up the defensive pressure. The Saints used a big first half to take an early lead en route to a 61-29 victory Wednesday, December 6, in Cedarville. The St. Ignace Saints traveled to Cedarville Wednesday, December 6, to take on the Trojans, bringing home a 61-29 victory in their season opening game. The Saints jumped out to an early lead thanks to their signature defensive pressure and the offensive play of senior Linnie Gustafson and junior Emily Coveyou, who scored 16 of the team’s 18 first quarter points, and 27 of the teams 35 first half points. The Trojans managed just two field goals in the half and found themselves trailing 35-9 at halftime.

“It’s tough to simulate in practice what St. Ignace does defensively,” said Trojans Head Coach Ryan Wilson. “They don’t just contest every shot, but every pass, as well. We just weren’t prepared for that pressure.”


Cedarville senior Nadijah Wilson (#22, in white) drives the ball to the basket before running into St. Ignace senior Linnie Gustafson (right). Gustafson and the Saints got the best of Wilson and the Trojans, bringing home a 32-point victory Wednesday, December 6. Cedarville senior Nadijah Wilson (#22, in white) drives the ball to the basket before running into St. Ignace senior Linnie Gustafson (right). Gustafson and the Saints got the best of Wilson and the Trojans, bringing home a 32-point victory Wednesday, December 6. The Trojans adjusted in the second half and were outscored by just six, 26-20, but the Saints’ big first half put this game away early.

“This was a good first game for us,” said Saints Head Coach Dorene Ingalls. “We had more turnovers than we want, but it will take time for us to settle into the pace we are striving for. This is a fun team to watch and coach.”

Cedarville is a young team, featuring two freshmen and three juniors who are getting their first taste of varsity action. St. Ignace has its own newcomers, but returns most of its experienced players from last season. The Saints’ experience overwhelmed the Trojans’ youth on this night. One of the Saints’ returning players is sophomore Tessa Shepard, who saw significant action last year as a freshman. Shepard scored eight points, including two three-pointers, and looked much more confident and ready to shoot in her second go-around as a varsity player.

“I worked a lot this off-season on my shot, trying to be more fluid,” she said. “Last year my shot was stiff, and I was too timid at times. I feel a lot more confident in my shot this year.”

Coveyou and Gustafson each recorded double-doubles, with Coveyou notching 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Gustafson tallying 19 points and 10 rebounds. Gustafson, Shepard, and freshman Hallie Marshall tied for the team lead with four assists each. For the game, the Saints assisted on 19 of their 27 field goals, a number Coach Ingalls said the team can be proud of.

“It was nice to see the kids come out with some fire and have confidence in themselves,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the development of this team.”

Cedarville senior Mackenzie Barr led the Trojans with 14 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Elysia Causley chipped in seven points and four rebounds.

The Trojans (1-1) will next host Rudyard, Friday, December 15, at 6 p.m. The Saints (1-0) will have two home games this week, Wednesday, December 13, against Pickford, and Friday, December 15, against conference foe Sault Ste. Marie.

St. Ignace statistics: Emily Coveyou – 22 points, 10 rebounds, five steals; Linnie Gustafson – 19 points, 10 rebounds, four assists; Tessa Shepard – 8 points, four assists; Madison Olsen – three points; Jessie Frazier – three points; Keshia Davis – two points, eight rebounds; Tasheka Battick, two points; Hallie Marshall – two points.

Cedarville statistics: Mackenzie Barr – 14 points, seven rebounds; Elysia Causley – seven points, four rebounds; Kylee Call – three points; Lily Freel – two points; Rachael Rye – two points; Cassidy Barr – one point.

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