Next Stop, Mizzou Arena for the St. Joe Angels Basketball Team
Sydney Stipanovich and Erin Nelson combine for 36 points to defeat Parkway South 72-43 in the quarterfinals at Lindenwood University.
There’s a little secret about the St. Joseph’s Academy basketball team. The performances by the mainstays on the front line--center Sydney Stipanovich and forward Erin Nelson are obvious.
The twin performers dominated Parkway South from beginning to end to win the Class 5 quarterfinal game at Lindenwood University Saturday in convincing style over Parkway South, 72-43. Stipanovich had a double-double; 20 points and 16 rebounds. Ten of the 16 boards came in the first half.
Nelson recorded 18 points in the route of the Patriots. The Angels earned a spot in Friday night’s Class 5 semifinals in the Show-Me Showdown at Mizzou Arena in Columbia against the winner of Cor Jesu or Hazelwood Central.
But the little secret is that without the shortest player on the floor, 5-foot-4 point guard senior Emmie Haring, the Angels might not be there, or 22-5 this season.
Take for instance Haring’s fourth quarter heroics. With the game still not quite out of reach, Haring the shortest player on the floor wiggled to the hoop and grabbed a rebound of a missed Patriot shot. Then, she swung outset, got a quick pass and canned a two (pointer) to assure the victory.
First from the coach
“She deserved that shot. She worked so hard on that rebound,” said St. Joe’s coach Julie Matheny who will make her 10th trip to Columbia personally as a former player, assistant and head coach.
“I love the fact the her teammates rewarded her and gave her the ball back and she nailed that two-pointer,” said Matheny.
“With out a doubt, she has been a stud for us. Point guards are so valuable and have a special place in my heart.
We wouldn’t be where we are without her,” said Matheny.
The Hallmark of St. Joe is getting off to rapid-fire starts. Almost without fail, the Angels get at least 20 points in the first quarter of every game. They led 20-8 after the first stanza.
By half, the Angels held a comfortable 33-20 lead which grew to as many as 22 in the second half of the game.
Matheny tipped her cap to Stipanovich and Nelson. “They are two seniors who want to make sure they don’t go anywhere but Columbia this week.”
“I am just thrilled for this team to go back to Columbia,” said the coach.
So too were the top-performing seniors.
First Sydney Stipanovich
"I think each year our coaches work on our fundamentals and I think as a team we've progressed from the beginning of the season each year.
We are taught to come out hard every game. We know every quarter counts and that momentum gets us going every game.
We all really rebounded well as a team and picked it up on defense.
Erin Nelson next
"I love driving. That's where I get my confidence. I've been working on my outside shot.
"My senior year I've played a different position. When I came to St. Joe, they had me playing center. I don't like to play with my back to the basket. I play much better seeing the whole court."
Nelson is just thrilled to be back in Columbia.
"Just winning it all is my dream since the day I walked in here. We hope for the best outcome," said Nelson.
Top Scorers: St. Joe: Sydney Stipanovich 20 points; Erin Nelson 16.
Parkway South: Becca Steins, 13 pints; Riley Reddin, 12 points.