And the Lady Flyers got as much as they could handle from the Lady Eagles. Monroeville junior Kara Schaffer’s open last-second shot fell short, giving St. Paul the hard-fought 43-39 win Thursday at the St. Paul Convocation Center.
“I told them, ‘You’re going to have to play hard,’” Mahl said. “Hats off to Monroeville. I thought they did a very good job tonight. They never gave up; they were in the game the entire time.”
The Lady Flyers remain unbeaten overall at 5-0 and 3-0 in Firelands Conference action. The Lady Eagles fell to 2-5 and 1-2.
Mahl was pleased seeing her St. Paul squad learn to handle diversity and not fall apart in close games.
“They’re scrappy. They don’t quit,” she said. “I thought we stuck together very well. … We had to fight for every win we got tonight.”
St. Paul dominated the first quarter, 10-2. Monroeville outscored the home team 13-10 in the second period and went into the locker room trailing the Lady Flyers 20-15.
“I think nerves got a little bit of them in the first quarter,” Lady Eagles coach Brad Dunlap said. “They battled back … and we made a good run in the second quarter.”
Monroeville again outscored St. Paul in the third quarter, 15-9.
“The second quarter was when we made the run to tie it up (at one point),” Dunlap said. “At halftime, we reiterated what we wanted to do. They came out and executed; that’s for sure.”
When asked what could have been the knock-out punch for Monroeville in the second half, he said his players needed to box out on the defensive end and make foul shots.
“Unfortunately, we just didn’t get enough of them,” Dunlap added.
St. Paul had a balanced scoring attack.
Senior Ashley Painley scored 9 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
Classmate Lauren Lukasko grabbed 12 boards. She added 8 points, complemented by two blocks, a steal and an assist.
Mahl is impressed with the 5-11 senior post player’s maturity into a team leader.
“She’s not afraid to get after it. She’s not afraid to get on the floor,” the coach said. “If she’s not doing one thing right, she picks it up in another (area). I can’t say enough (about her).”
Two Monroeville players hit double digits. Schaffer led the way with 14 points. She also pulled down seven rebounds to go with two steals, two assists and a blocked shot.
“She’s a very athletic girl. I’m very glad she came out and played tonight,” Dunlap said. “She played with a lot of confidence. It was good to see.”
Senior Lauren Gies added 10 points and seven rebounds.
Pressure? Not a problem
St. Paul senior Caitlin Good seemed to be everywhere on the court Thursday.
Scoring 7 points, the guard also grabbed six rebounds. Good snagged six steals and distributed four assists.
“I thought Caitlin did a very good job tonight,” Mahl said.
Good’s coach considers her to be a decisive player.
“She’s a very good leader out there. She shares the ball well,” Mahl said.
“She has matured into such a different player than she was the last three years,” her coach added. “She handles the pressure very well. You really don’t see it get to her like it used to.”
In the jayvee game, five players from the two teams scored in double digits in the St. Paul 49-39 win.
St. Paul sophomore Alex Carper hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the first half to give the Lady Flyers a 25-19 lead. She hit two previous treys in the first two periods and had a total of 13 points.
Sophomore Katie Kamann and freshman Megan Hammersmith each added 12 points.
Monroeville freshman Mirena Miler led all scorers with 15 points. Sophomore Carley Helmstetter added 10.
On Saturday, St. Paul hosts Crestview in a FC match. In another league game, Monroeville plays New London at home.
Follow Reflector staff writer Cary Ashby on Twitter at @Cary_reporter and on Facebook at “Cary Ashby — reporter & comic book blogger.”
Monroeville 2 13 15 9 — 39
St. Paul 10 10 9 14 — 43
Monroeville: Lauren Gies 4-0-10, Jordan Quillen 1-0-3, Ashlyn Thomas 2-0-5, Kara Schaffer 6-2-14, Taylor Reer 2-0-5, Karli Krill 1-0-2 — 16-2-39
St. Paul: Ashley Painley 3-3-9, Lauren Lukasko 3-3-8, Grace Rospert 1-2-4, Caitlin Good 2-3-7, Emily Baker 2-0-4, Olivia Powers 1-0-2, Meredith Dilger 1-1-3, Elyse Roth 3-0-6 — 16-11 -43