The St. Paul Lady Flyers girls basketball team used a swarming defense to put away visiting Tiffin Calvert by a 41-27 score Tuesday night to bring its winning streak to open the season to three games.
St. Paul ratcheted up the pressure on the defensive end in the second quarter and the Lady Senecas struggled getting the ball up the court and down the court as the Lady Flyers shut them out. After leading 12-9 after one quarter, the defensive effort in the second quarter allowed St. Paul to open up a 22-9 lead at the break.
The defense stifled the Lady Senecas star player, Shelby Hemminger, as they kept her from adding her name to the box score until the third quarter. She went on to score just nine points after averaging 18 points through the first two games.
“We started out a little slower than what I would have liked, but I thought we did well for being off for over a week,” St. Paul coach Vicky Mahl said. “They played really hard on both sides of the ball and when we ran in the full court press in the first half, they made it tough on Calvert to move the basketball to the front court.
“I like to think that it was what our team was doing more than what they were not doing,” she added. “Anytime that you only allow nine points in a half, you are doing something right. I think that we made it difficult for them to get good looks at the rim.”
St. Paul outscored the Lady Senecas 14-0 in the 11-minute plus period of time that they held Calvert scoreless.
The Lady Flyers didn’t just play great pressure defense though. They also enjoyed a nice mix of scoring with three players scoring in double digits. Danielle Smith led all scorers with 13 points, while Megan Hammersmith dropped in 12 and Morgan Baxter added 10 to pace the St. Paul scoring attack.
“One of the greatest things about being the coach of this team is getting to watch how all of the girls share the ball,” Mahl said. “There is no selfishness to any of them or comparing who scored what. They all just score.”
Mahl said that the team tried a few things that they had been working on during the time that they were off and that the team executed them well.
The Lady Flyers will need the new wrinkles that they can get as they prepare for a busy week where they will travel to Plymouth on Thursday before coming back home to host Monroeville in their first two Firelands Conference games of the season.
“We have a big week ahead of us with Plymouth and Monroeville,” Mahl said. “They are both good and after having the long break it is nice to get back on the court and to see the results of the work they put in.”
TIFFIN CALVERT (2-1)
Sydney Johnson 1-0–2; Lexi White 3-0–8; Shelby Hemminger 4-1–9; Hannah Burns 1-0–2; Mallary Nielsen 1-0–2. TOTALS 12-1–27.
ST. PAUL (3-0)
Morgan Baxter 4-0–10; Megan Hammersmith 6-0–12; Camille Endsley 1-0–2; Danielle Smith 4-3–13; Lauren Chandler 2-0–4. TOTALS 17-3–41.
Calvert 9 0 7 11 — 27
St. Paul 12 10 15 4 — 41
JV: Tiffin Calvert won 34-33.