Defense key in Saint Paul win over Greyhounds

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Eric Allen (22) and the rest of the Saints' defense hold off Sweet Springs during their Courtwarming game Friday. (Sarah Reed/The Concordian)

Playing much better in the second and third quarters than they did in the first, the Saint Paul Saints pulled away from visiting Sweet Springs to claim a 59-34 I-70 Conference victory Friday.

The Saints held an 11-9 lead after the first quarter.

"It kind of went back and forth in the first half," SPLHS head coach Monte Pitsch said. "We were well aware of Andrew Krause and wanted 10 eyes on him.

"He did a nice job of finding his teammates, and they did a good job of putting the ball in the basket."

The Greyhounds got a boost from Zack Giffen hitting three three-pointers in the first 16 minutes, still Saint Paul pulled away to a 33-20 lead by intermission.

Peyton Kusel was a big part of the first-half explosion by the Saints as he scored all of his 14 points. It wasn't only the Saints' offense that helped open the lead in the third quarter.

"The second half, I thought we picked it up defensively and got some steals and some layups, which helped us extend the lead," Pitsch said.

The Saints got a big pick-me-up from a senior stalwart.

"Eric Allen had a steal and a two-handed dunk that really gave us some high energy defensively," Pitsch said.

The Saints' scoring was broken up evenly, with four players finishing in double figures. Kusel had 14 points and Allen, Simon Schmidt and Peter Lemmons 11 each. or a double-double.

With a lopsided score on the board, Pitsch was able to substitute freely down the stretch.

"It was nice to see our younger kids get a chance to play on courtwarming," he said. "I thought they played well."

The Greyhounds were led by Giffen's 14 points, while Krause was limited to eight points.

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