Saint Paul girls score win over Santa Fe

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Santa Fe 39

In each team’s second I-70 Conference game of the season — and second time seeing each other, with SPLHS winning 53-51 in the I-70 Conference Tournament’s third-place game on Dec. 8, and the Chiefs winning 48-37 in the I-70/MRVCE Showdown championship on Jan. 5. Santa Fe and Saint Paul Lutheran each rose to the occasion. The Saints led for most of the game and would ultimately hold off the Lady Chiefs, winning 44-39.

The Saints played to an ideal start in the first quarter, sliding ahead with a 15-10 result in the first frame. Despite struggling to establish an offensive identity at times without senior leader Lynda Bennett — whom they have been without since suffering an injury Jan. 3, the night before these two teams faced off for the second time — the Saints came out fired up offensively. Six different Saints chipped in one two-point field goal each, including senior Chloe Fuhrman, who also stepped off the block and added a three-point Basket to her first quarter total. It helped power the Saints to a 15-10 lead heading into the second quarter.

As the score indicated, the Lady Chiefs weren’t far off by any stretch. They also saw a balanced first quarter attack offensively, with five Lady Chiefs each knocking down a field goal from inside the arc.

The Santa Fe approach differed slightly in the second quarter, as senior Josey Burton led her team with five points on three free throws. Sophomore Kara Hollingsworth collected her first points of the night when she splashed from outside of the arc, while freshman Taylor Boothe found net from inside of it once. The Chiefs would win the second quarter, 10-9, and would go into the intermission down just four points, 24-20.

Fuhrman (two points), fellow senior Karson Troth (three points) and Jada Strickland (two points) helped the Saints keep their first half lead, while sophomore Mary Frerking contributed her first two points of the night, marking the seventh Saint to score in the half.

The third quarter was a shootout, with the Chiefs outscoring the Saints 14-13 in the period. Fuhrman (five points) and Troth (four points) again paced the Saints, who maintained a 37-34 lead heading into the fourth quarter despite freshman Bella Limback scoring from inside twice and Boothe and junior Maddie Schuette scoring three points each.

The scoring-bug fled the vicinity for the final quarter, as Strickland was the only Saint to score from the floor, connecting twice from inside. Troth and senior Kerstin Marten combined to shoot 3-5 from the charity stripe, and the seven points would be enough to secure the victory, 44-39.

The Saints defense did their part in clamping down on a Lady Chiefs squad who could only manage five points of their own in the fourth quarter — despite 11 team free throw attempts (three made).

The charity stripe was less than charitable to the Lady Chiefs, who only shot 10-26 on free throws and connected on just seven of their 19 second half attempts.

The Saints picked up the majority of their points from Fuhrman (12), Troth (11), and Strickland (10). Five other Saints also picked up two or three points in the grudge match.

Strickland turned in a double-double in the performance, as she also recorded 10 rebounds, in addition to two steals and blocks apiece. Troth finished with six assists, and Fuhrman wrangled away six steals.

Burton was the only Chief in double-digits, cashing in 11 points despite back-to-back 25-point performances in the previous two matchups. Freshmen Limback and Boothe flashed some of their potential in this matchup, scoring eight and seven points, respectively. Junior Carrigan Smith finished with just four points, a break from the usual success she enjoys offensively.

The victory moves the Saints to 9-5 (1-1) on the season. The I-70 Conference will continue to unfold as the Saints approach matchups with Orrick High School and Concordia High School in the upcoming week.

The Lady Chiefs fell to 11-4 (1-1) with the loss. They’re still in the mix for the I-70 regular season championship despite losing.

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