St. Paul (11-3, 7-2) won the Firelands Conference game 57-46, sending the Eagles to 2-13 and 1-7 in league play.
Lady Flyers coach Vicky Mahl warned her team it would be a tough game.
“I told the kids, ‘It’s never safe in here; I don’t care how big of a lead you have, it’s never safe when it’s us and them.’ I’m just proud of the job tonight from top to bottom. I thought Camille (Endsley) did a great job at point guard. The rest of them helped fill in. Danielle (Smith) had a good game tonight. My bigs are putting the ball in the hole when they can, as far as making those close shots,” she said.
Smith led all players with 24 points. She was 14-of-18 from the free-throw line. The St. Paul sophomore also had four rebounds and three steals.
Junior Megan Hammersmith notched a double-double for the Flyers with 15 points and 13 boards.
“I’m just proud of the job everybody is doing at this point,” Mahl said. “As I told them, it just shows what kind of team we are … and that’s what’s important — taking care of us. We can only control so much of what everybody else does.”
St. Paul got out to a fast start, taking a 20-11 lead at the first-quarter break. After that, the Flyers and Eagles had identical scores in the remaining periods.
“I think we had a few open layups, if I remember right in that first quarter where we just didn’t connect on those,” Monroeville coach Brad Dunlap said. “In the first half, they were doing a really good job on the boards. We were getting outrebounded. … I think we did a better job in the second half, if I recall correctly.”
St. Paul junior Anna Lukasko grabbed six rebounds while freshman Brooke Houke added five.
The Flyers took a 33-24 lead into the locker room at the half. Monroeville junior Camryn Hedrick connect on three three-pointers in the first two quarters, but couldn’t find her shot down the stretch.
Dunlap told his players during the first-half timeouts that they were being too passive.
“We talked about being more aggressive and we did; we got more aggressive as the game wore on. We are making steps (and) strides every night on the court,” the Eagles coach said.
St. Paul led 46-35 at the end of three quarters.
Mahl reminded her team in practice that Monroeville will change defenses and will come out you.
“That’s the way it is. Like I said, give credit to (the Eagles) tonight. They fought back several times and also, I give a lot of credit to our kids for continuing and not giving in at that point. We didn’t give up the lead. That says a lot when they come at you and you don’t fold and that’s where we’re headed; we’re getting toward tournament time and that’s what you want,” she said.
“I thought they did a relatively decent job of controlling some things. We had a couple spurts I can think of where things got away from us,” said the Flyers coach, who saw her team get centered after timeouts.
Monroeville cut down St. Paul’s lead to 50-45 with 3:43 left to play.
“It was a two-possession game with like 2 1/2 (minutes) to play and then we had a few mental mistakes, a few mental errors and we didn’t execute at the offensive end. Then (St. Paul) took advantage of it and that’s what extended the lead for them,” Dunlap said.
The Eagles play another FC game Thursday at New London.
“Obviously you’ve to contend with the (Gabby) Ledbetter girl inside — a big post presence and then (Kiaya) Thierry on the outside — a nice a guard who can shot the rock. You’ve got to be ready for that 2-3 zone (and) 2-2-1 press,” Dunlap said.
St. Paul plays at Ashland Crestview on Thursday.
“They’re going to come at us. As I told the kids when we lost to them and Western (Reserve) both; we have to do our job. We’ve got to take it one game at a time and get ourselves back in position where we can possibly vie for that conference (title). That’s any team’s goal. Granted, state is No. 1, but within ourselves, you want to win that conference,” Mahl said.
“We have to beat Crestview. That’s the next step in what we want to do.”
Follow Reflector staff writer Cary Ashby on Facebook at “Cary Ashby — reporter & comic book blogger” and on Twitter at @Cary_reporter.
ST. PAUL (11-3, 7-2)
Anna Lukasko 3-0—6; Megan Hammersmith 7-1—15; Camille Endsley 3-1—8; Danielle Smith 4-14—24; Brooke Houck 1-1—3; Maddy McCall 0-1—1. TOTALS 18-18—57.
MONROEVILLE (2-13, 1-7)
Mirena Miller 3-1—7; Lexi Green 1-0—2; Payton Scheid 3-1—7; Kelsie Palmer 3-0—6; Braylee Wise 2-0—4; Camryn Hedrick 3-0—9; Graisyn Yoder 2-0—4; Delaney Giles 1-3—5. TOTALS 19-5—46.
St. Paul 20 13 13 11 — 57
Monroeville 11 13 11 11 — 46
3-point FGs: (SP) Endsley, Smith (2); (M) Hedrick (3)