Saints Fall To Jennings
The Warriors outscore Villa 18-8 in fourth quarter in 50-47 victory.
The first four Jennings' starters announced were all guards and the other was a forward. The tallest player in the Warrior starting five was 5-foot-8 and all of the Saint starters were at least that tall, with Beth Nogalski at 6-foot-2.
But Jennings proved that size is not all that matters in basketball as the Warriors came back from a seven-point fourth quarter deficit to record a 50-47 non-conference win at Villa.
"They just beat us and outworked us, especially on the offensive boards and that should not have happened," Villa Duchesne Coach Jane Ellen Kuenzle said. "We did not put in that extra effort that you need to win these kinds of games. We needed all five girls on the floor to work and that didn't happen tonight. At times we had two or three working but not all five."
Jennings was able to hold Nogalski to just 10 points.
"She was a big concern for us tonight," Jennings Coach Theresa Humble said of the Saints' leading scorer. "We knew she could be effective inside or out. The first thing we tried to do was to deny her the ball and keep it out of her hands on the inside. And we also had to pressure her on the outside. I thought the girls did a good job on defense and we were much more patient on the offensive end as well. Our shots were falling and we made free throws down the stretch."
The game was close throughout out with numerous lead changes. Villa junior Holly Marx came off the bench to provide a spark late in the first half with back-to-back field goals, one a 3-pointer, and Villa had a 25-22 halftime advantage.
There were seven lead changes in the third quarter but Villa seemed to have the momentum going into the fourth quarter after consecutive 3-pointers by Karena Kaufmann and Nogalski.
Villa led 39-32 after three quarters but Jennings scored the first 12 points of the fourth quarter before Kaufmann hit a field goal and two free throws to cut the deficit to one point.
But Jennings made six straight free throws late in the game, four by Daizha McGee.
"Those were huge and Daizha has not been shooting well from the line," Humble said. "Free throws are always key late in a game and we were able to hit them tonight."
The key play of the game came on one of two fourth quarter misses from the line by the Warriors as Chekev Raiford got the rebound on the missed free throw and converted it into a basket.
Villa had one last chance to tie the game in the waning seconds but Lauren Nickson had her shot blocked.
"Jennings is a real quick team and we let them beat us to the basket which should not happen in a zone," Kuenzle said. "At some point these girls are going to have to sacrifice and get tired of losing games that they had potentially win."
Kaufmann had 15 points, 11 of them coming in the second half to lead Villa, which fell to 7-4.
McGee had 15 for Jennings, which improved to 9-5.