St. Joe Girls Stay Unbeaten With Impressive Hoops Win Over Nerinx Hall
Angels shake off slow start for big win over previously unbeaten league rivals from Nerinx.
FRONTENAC -- After beginning the season with three straight brilliant victories over Troy, Jefferson City and Ursuline Academy, the St. Joseph's Academy girls basketball team was bound to have a stinker somewhere along the way.
And for the first five minutes of play on Saturday afternoon against MWAA rival Nerinx Hall, at the SJA Wellington Athletic Complex, it looked like that stinker might come in the Angels' matchup against the Markers.
Instead though, the final 27 minutes were nothing but St. Joe brilliance, as the Angels rallied back and eventually pulled away from the Markers for a 59-40 victory.
"I'm pleased," St. Joe head coach Julie Matheny said in an interview with Prepcasts.com following the game. "It's kind of par for the course around here, that every kid's going to be ready to step up and play their best as soon as they hit the floor."
At the outset though, it was Nerinx that looked like the more focused and prepared team, as the Markers jumped out to a 7-1 lead and held the Angels without a field goal for the first five minutes of the game.
"I just told our kids, 'hey, play through it,'" Matheny said. "There's going to be runs, like there are in any other game. (Nerinx) is walking in 6-0. They think they're invincible. But we've got to show what we're capable of doing."
And that's exactly what St. Joe did to outscore Nerinx 10-2 in the final half of the first period to take an 11-9 lead into the second quarter.
The teams stayed even until a 14-5 run by St. Joe, just before halftime, gave the Angels a 27-18 lead at the break.
In the second half, St. Joe got going thanks to three three-pointers early in the third that helped the Angels build to a 45-32 lead after three quarters.
From that point on, St. Joe was never really challenged. For good measure though, the Angels closed out the game with a 12-4 run to eventually build to the final score of 59-40.
Leading the way for the Angels was senior center Sydney Stipanovich, who had 21 points to lead all scorers, while teammate and fellow senior Erin Nelson added 14 points as well.
"They were collapsing so much on Syd in the beginning of the game, and most teams will," Matheny said, "We were forcing it a little bit too much inside, instead of everybody stepping up and playing like they're capable of playing."
St. Joe, which remains the No. 2-ranked Large Schools girls team in the city, is now 4-0 on the year, with each of its victories coming by an average of 28.5 points.
Nerinx, which had opened the season by winning the Randi Perkins Tournament at Marquette High School, and its own tournament earlier this week, is now 6-1 this season.
Both teams will get nearly two weeks off before their next games, as both the Angels and Markers won't play again until Day 1 of the Visitation Holiday Tournament, which begins on Saturday, December 22.
And neither club will play another home game in 2012, with Nerinx's next home date slated for January 7, against Visitation, and St. Joe not playing again on its home floor, until January 20, when the Angels will host Bloom Township.
Score by Quarters ............. 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 -- Final Score
Nerinx Hall .......................... 9 ... 9 .. 14 .. 8 -- 40
St. Joseph's Academy ....... 11 . 16 . 18 . 14 -- 59
Nerinx Hall -- Kenzie Yess 14, Abbie Marshall 8, Jo Ingram 8, Maddie Simonds 4, Susie Mathias 2, Kelly Meyer 2, Mary Niehaus 2.
St. Joseph's Academy -- Sydney Stipanovich 21, Erin Nelson 14, Emmie Haring 11, Mary Barton 7, Susie Schmank 4, Abbey Combest 2.