Saints handle Orrick, Concordia
In a week where Monte Pitsch's Saint Paul Saints had the opportunity to suffer a letdown or look ahead on the schedule, the Saints did not look past the Orrick Bearcats nor the Concordia Orioles, wining each I-70 Conference match-up by margins that had the clock continuing to roll in the fourth quarter.
The Saints hammered Orrick 61-21 at home last week Tuesday and downed homestanding Concordia 59-22 Friday.
At Saint Paul 61, Orrick 21
The Saints made a statement out of the blocks, taking control from the opening tip, jumping to a 24-0 lead by the end of the first eight-minute quarter.
The Saints rolled on to a 40-5 lead by halftime and to a 51-16 advantage by the end of the third quarter.
Pitsch said the Bearcats were shorthanded.
"Orrick had several starters out due to various reasons," he said.
Pitsch called off the dogs early as the starters only played the first quarter.
Still, the Saints were able to maintain their focus and put away their opponent.
"I thought offensively and defensively, we looked good," Pitsch said. "I was pleased with my bench as they got a lot of minutes in this game."
The Saints finished with balanced scoring that included points from 11 of the 12 players suited up.
Peyton Mays paced the Saints with eight points. Luke Stuenkel, Tanner Lark and Simon Schmidt each scored seven points and Eric Allen and Matt Nebel six each.
Griffen Harris paced all scorers for the Bearcats with 11 points, including a three-pointer and eight points in the second half.
Saint Paul 59, at Concordia 22
It was another quick start for Pitsch's bunch, rolling to a 19-8 advantage after one quarter, led by two threes from Schmidt, five points from Allen and four each from Stuenkel and Peter Lemmons.
That was more than enough to make up for two three-pointers hit by CHS's Jordan Schlueter.
"I'm really proud of our kids. They came out and executed the offensive and defensive game plan really well," Pitsch said. "It was a good all-around game (for us) on both ends of the floor."
Lemmons came through with three more second-quarter baskets and Stuenkel two as the Saints blew out to a 34-10 lead by halftime. The lone second-quarter basket scored by the Orioles was a two-pointer by Mason Rohr.
A 17-9 run in the third quarter helped the Saints to a 51-19 edge heading to the fourth quarter. Peyton Kusel, who was held scoreless versus Orrick and didn't score in the first half at CHS, broke loose in the third quarter, draining a three-pointer and scoring all of his nine points.
"We got really balanced scoring from our starters," Pitsch said. "We also got some contributions from our bench."
Lemmons paced the Saints with 12 points, followed by Stuenkel with 10. Schmidt and Allen each scored nine points like Kusel.
Schlueter was held scoreless the rest of the game, finishing with six points to co-lead the Orioles' offense. Trent McGinnis had a slam dunk and added six points, also.
The Saints, 14-4 overall, hosted Pilot Grove Tuesday. The Saints will match-up with the Wellington Tigers in Weis Gymnasium Friday night.
It will be a showdown between teams that headed into this week unbeaten in I-70 Conference play. The Tigers put their unblemished conference record on the list last night at home versus Concordia.