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home : sports : sports   April 30, 2016

1/13/2014 10:48:00 AM
Prep girls basketball: L-P holds off rival St. Bede

Brandon LaChance
NewsTribune Sports Writer

The cross-town rivalry game between the St. Bede and La Salle-Peru girls basketball teams on Saturday was more than simply a game.

It was an assessment by each squad’s coach to see where the teams were at through this point in the season.

L-P coach Hollis Vickery savored the 50-43 win over St. Bede, but wasn’t happy a double-digit lead diminished during a Lady Bruin rally in the fourth quarter.

“We got in a hurry,” Vickery said. “We tried to get back right away. We had a 16-point lead. We just need to settle down and run the offense. Instead, we kind of freelanced and got in one-on-one mode and just didn’t run anything — didn’t execute on offense.

“If you have the lead, you have to make them work hard on defense, and we were one and done. We’d give them one look, one option and put it up. We can’t win like that. I don’t care who it is, we can’t win like that.”

The Lady Cavaliers (10-9) opened the game on the attack from both the 3-point line and on the offensive glass.

Jena Argubright, who finished with 14 points, hit two 3s and four of the five Lady Cavs starters scored at least one basket as they started the game on a 14-2 run and ended the opening quarter with a 16-8 advantage.

Sophomore Madison Held grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds as L-P out-rebounded the Lady Bruins 11-3 in the first quarter. L-P had a 23-14 advantage at the end of the second and a 40-29 advantage at the game’s conclusion.

“We had a little height advantage so we were able to dominate down there,” said sophomore Hannah Wolfe, who scored 10 points and hauled in seven rebounds. “We had Maddie (Held) get some awesome rebounds. We just learned to box-out. When their shots were off we called it which way they were going so we were able to stay in front of them.”

L-P’s 30-14 halftime lead held up to the end of the third as the differential remained 16 points at 40-24 heading into the fourth.

The Lady Bruins (7-11) refused to get blown out by the school on the other side of Rt. 6 as the shots which rimmed out before finally went in.

Senior Raley Mauck scored six of her game-high 17 points in the fourth and St. Bede slowly closed the gap to seven points.

However, L-P didn’t let them inch any closer as the Lady Cavs sealed the game with trips to the free throw line.

“Shots were going down for us,” McGunnigal said about how St. Bede rallied. “I think we had some good legs with us, but unfortunately, they kept getting to the free throw line and we didn’t. That’s a sin, an absolute sin — (27) free throws attempted by them and we only attempted eight in the game. It was a physical ball game on both sides of the fence. I felt we were getting short-ended on some of those calls."

L-P shot 15-of-27 from the free throw line while the Lady Bruins shot 3-of-8.

Moving forward, McGunnigal said he is going to push his team to play all quarters like it did in the fourth against the Lady Cavs.

“We can not start like we did. We got to start like we finished,” McGunnigal said. “We can’t wait until the third or fourth quarter to try to come back from a 16-point deficit. You have to start playing hard when it’s 0-0 and then go from there.”

Vickery said perimeter defense needs to improve for L-P to be successful in the future, especially against 3-point shooting teams such as SBA.

“It’s a win. Now we’re 10-9. I mean, they’re not in our conference. It’s a win,” Vickery said. “It’s a cross-town rivalry and you always like to win against the cross-town rival. If we would have lost, it was a loss. We have to march on from this no matter what. We have a big schedule up ahead.

“We have Sterling next week. We have Ottawa coming up and Geneseo and Kaneland. We can’t just rest on one game. This is over. Let’s have a little fun with it and let’s move on.”

Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6995, or Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.

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