Erin Nelson of St. Joseph’s Academy provides a unique style to her team. The moment was just golden in the Wednesday night’s 68-41 basketball win over visiting Jefferson City Helias.
Late in the third quarter, the senior forwarded, who has already inked with Saint Louis U. was barreling the lane; headed for the hoop. She found her self down too deep and her shot bounced off the bottom of the backboard. Not done, she slapped a paw at the ball, bounding it right back to a teammate. The Angels had another chance and scored so more.
It was an easy win; 15th of 18 in the season that rolls on. Nelson pitched in 14 points before sitting down for the night. Abbey Combest, a 5-foot-9 junior guard had a career night. She fired in 5 long-range 3 pointers for 15 points. It appeared she only missed one long-range shot.
Sydney Stipanovich and Susie Schmank each added 11 to the cause.
Bob Goessling sat in as replacement coach for the night. As happens from time to time, veteran coach Julie Matheny was out of town on a business trip.
That’s ok, because the two are brother-sister. Goessling estimates he’s done this about 10 times, probably winning nine of the 10.
“Yea, I think I’m nine and one?”
Will that one loss put him on some kind of probation?
“Oh, she’s lost some too,” he said with a good laugh.
Goessling was mighty proud of his girls that night. “I was really proud of the girls. We have a really big one with Dexter (in the Charleston Shootout) Saturday night.”
Goessling pointed back to Combest’s efforts with pride. “She really has the stroke. We just need to give her the chance to shoot it,” he said.
St. Joe has been jumping out to big first-quarter starts; mostly getting over 20 or 30 points nightly. “With the fast guards we have, we’ve been pushing the ball up the floor,” he said.
Against Helias, the Angels roared to a 21-8 first quarter burst.
“We had their defense back-peddling on their heels.” And Helias is no easy team to beat. They came to St. Louis with a 12-4 record. Their coach Doug Light said they have been improving all season.
The steady Stock twins (Maddie and Morgan are at Mizzou) so its a whole new cast of backliners this year. “We try and rotate in new guards every three to four minutes to keep them fresh,” said Goessling.
Above all, Goessling likes to see Nelson performing on the front end of the court. ”She has a lot of confidence. She’ll get one, then its lights out. She’ll go outside and hit a three and they (defenders have to pick her up) and then she’ll drive inside and get another,” he said.