For the St. Joseph’s Academy basketball team, the frustration continues. The Angles have managed just one win over Incarnate Word Academy in the last 10 games or so, and that was on the Angels' home floor two years ago.
Incarnate has a newcomer to the game, sophomore 6-foot-1 Napheesa Collier who leads the area in scoring with a 24.3 average.
The Angels double teamed IWA’s post player, front and back and held her to just 4-first half points. But Dan Rolfes, coach of the Red Knights turned her loose in the second half and she scored a game high 24. The Knights departed SJA with a convincing 56-44 win.
The game was pure frustration for senior center Sydney Stipanovich of St. Joe who fouled out of the game with 3:46 left in the contest. She picked up her 4th foul on a double foul. She was flagged for fighting back with a defender who had her in some sort of exotic Jiu Jitsu move. ”I didn’t even see her third foul,” said her coach Julie Matheny. “I didn’t think she had fouled out of the game.”
Stipo, who is headed to Penn basketball was held to 11 points.
Speaking of frustration, just 3 Angel players had any points in the first half.
In the second half, Collier worked herself down low and took over the scoring with Angel defenders piling up the fouls.
Though Erin Nelson led St. Joe with 18 points, that wasn’t enough to hold off the Red Knight’s surge, en-route to their 23rd consecutive win in an undefeated season.
“I thought we had a good effort and always played hard,” said Knights’ coach Rolfes. “But sometimes, we didn’t play the smartest.
Coming in here, to play them any year and get a win--I’m happy.”
Nelson and Stipanovich would dearly have liked to emerge with a home court win. Both realize, this is the last time the two teams will meet this season, state tournament or not.
IWA’s slight enrollment decline made them a Class 3 team, while SJA stays Class 4.
In some ways, Matheny felt the game got a little out of control. It was kind of like getting mugged in an alley.
"Yea, if it’s a Frontenac Alley. That makes it OK,” she quipped. “Dial 9-1-1.”
"Then (they) the refs bail out with a double foul under the basket.”
But Matheny was not criticizing the officials by any means.
“The refs did a super job. They let us play. We just can’t afford to let them get to the line and score when he clock isn’t running.”
Collier was at the stripe often. She sunk 12 of 18 free throws in the game.
“We just gave up too many offensive boards. They do a good job of pushing you out and pushing you out,” said Matheny,
“Our seniors wanted to go out with a win, especially on our home floor. This is the last time we play them (this year) and there’s closure for that.”
With that, St. Joe slipped to 15-5.