The MICDS girls basketball team opened its 2012-2013 season Tuesday night at the McDonnell Gymnasium, with a performance that was both beautiful and downright ugly.
On the positive side, the Rams played magnificent defense, owned the rebounding edge by a wide margin, and held visiting Cardinal Ritter to just 30 points, in a 52-30 victory.
On the ugly side, MICDS had an atrocious night shooting free throws, as the Rams went to the line a whopping 56 times, but made only 26 of them (46 percent).
Fortunately, the rough night at the foul line didn't come back to bite the Rams, who held Cardinal Ritter to just 10 points in the first half, and 17 points through three quarters, with a truly dominant performance on the defensive end.
Junior Josie Cusworth led all scorers with 17 points, including a pair of back-to-back layups late in the first quarter that gave MICDS the lead for good at 8-4.
The teams traded buckets and several free throw misses, before Cusworth put in another set of back-to-back baskets that gave the Rams a 14-8 midway through the second quarter.
The play of the night though, came from freshman guard Rachel Thompson, who banked home a half-court heave just as the halftime buzzer sounded to give the Rams a 21-10 lead at the break.
Thompson's 50-foot heave will likely make its way to Youtube, as a number of friends and family were on hand to record what proved to be the ninth-graders first high school basket.
She finished the game with 12 points, and was MICDS' second-leading scorer on the night.
The Rams pushed their lead to as many as 22 points early in the fourth quarter, in a game that took nearly two hours to play -- a marathon by high school standards -- in part, because MICDS attacked the rim constantly and forced Cardinal Ritter to foul.
And foul they did, as the Lions committed 30 fouls -- another large number for a high school game -- and had four players foul out.
By the time the game ended, Ritter's only starter left on the floor was junior Chastity Franklin, who led her team with 13 points, but had trouble solving MICDS' swarming and trapping defense.
The Rams will get the rest of the week off, before returning to the court on Monday, December 3, when they'll play nearby Visitation Academy in the first round of the Nerinx Hall Tournament.
That contest is scheduled to tip-off at 6:45 p.m., with the winner advancing to play in the tournament semifinals the following day.
MICDS' next home game will not come until the Rams host their own tournament, during the winter break, with a first round game likely scheduled for December 21.
Score by Quarters ............. 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 -- Final Score
Cardinal Ritter .................. 4 ... 6 .. 7 ... 13 -- 30
MICDS .............................. 8 .. 13 . 12 .. 19 -- 52