Lady Saints fall to Santa Fe in third-place game
An encouraging performance to start the I-70 Conference Tournament turned into pain when the Saint Paul Lutheran High School Saints girls basketball team fell in the semifinal round to host Crest Ridge HS, and a late bucket put Santa Fe HS ahead of the Saints for good in the third-place game.
Despite the tough results to round the tournament out, the Saints will have cracks at both the Cougars and the Lady Chiefs again when the conference season opens up after the winter break.
With the 1-2 performance, Saint Paul moves to 3-2 on the year.
Saturday, Dec. 7 — I-70 Conference Tourney, first round — Crest Ridge HS
Saint Paul 35
Lone Jack 22
A perfect defensive quarter paved the way for the Lady Saints to cruise through their first round matchup with Lone Jack, 35-22.
The Saints were able to put up 13 points in the first quarter while holding the Mules scoreless. Ultimately, the Saints would get ahead 17-0 before the Mules got themselves on the scoreboard. However, the Saints would still enter the halftime break up 21-2 before coasting to the victory through the second half.
The Saints held large advantages in rebounds (36-24) and points in the paint (16-6), aiding them in their journey to victory.
Sophomores Hailey Arnold and Adrien Martens each finished with 10 points. Arnold recorded eight rebounds and three steals, while Martens grabbed nine boards and had four steals of her own.
Wednesday, Dec. 11 — I-70 Conference Tourney, semifinal — Crest Ridge HS
Saint Paul 33
Crest Ridge 41
A back-and-forth first-half left the Saints with a narrow advantage heading into the second half, but a tremendous performance by the Lady Cougars in the second half secured a 41-33 victory over Saint Paul in the semifinal match of the I-70 Conference Tournament.
A 13-9 first quarter advantage for the Cougars evaporated by the end of the second quarter, with the Saints ahead 23-21 heading into the second half.
The second half was a different story for the Saints, however, as they would get outscored 15-9 in the third quarter and held scoreless from the floor (one point) in the fourth quarter, ultimately falling 41-33.
The Cougars found themselves with 12 more points off turnovers and a six-point advantage in the paint (24-18).
Points came at a premium for most Saints, but sophomores Hailey Arnold (11 points), Grace Hartwig (eight points), and Adrien Martens finished with six apiece. Arnold and Martens each recorded seven boards, three steals, three assists as well.
Saturday, Dec. 14 — I-70 Conference Tourney, third-place game — Crest Ridge HS
Saint Paul 33
Santa Fe 36
Despite facing a nine-point deficit in the first half, the Saints would bounce back and take a late lead in their third-place match with Santa Fe before the Lady Chiefs would take it back on a last-second shot for the 36-33 victory.
After an 11-4 lead after one quarter, the Chiefs’ defense was less successful in the second quarter, with the Saints outscoring the Chiefs 14-10 to draw the halftime score back to 21-18. A light-scoring third quarter featured eight combined points (five for Santa Fe) and left the Saints with opportunity for a comeback.
After starting the final quarter down 26-21, the Saints would claw their way back into the game, ultimately taking a late lead before a late go-ahead basket and successive follow-up basket off the inbound would seal the deal for the Chiefs.
While the Saints held a 20-10 advantage on points in the paint and a 28-22 rebound advantage, the Saints couldn’t connect from long-range on nine attempts while the Chiefs splashed on 5/12 attempts.
It was a one-girl show offensively for the Saints, with sophomore Hailey Arnold cashing in 23 points next to seven rebounds.