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St. Paul holds off Gremlins

Last updated: February 17. 2014 8:19PM - 786 Views
By KYLE SMITH Democrat Sports Editor



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Gabbi Ebers did it again.


After scoring 29 and 27 points in her previous two games, the Sacred Heart senior scored 27 Monday night against the St. Paul Lutheran Saints at Sacred Heart School.


Unlike her previous two big games, she didn’t lead the Gremlins to victory this time with St. Paul winning 64-53.


“Gabbi Ebers played a whale of a game,” Sacred Heart coach Shawn Bestgen said.


Fourteen of her points came in the second quarter where the Gremlins tied the score at 23 on a jumper by Claudia Cox. Ebers tied the score at 25 on a drive inside, but the Saints answered with a 10-0 run that featured two turnovers by Sacred Heart.


Tiffany Bennett scored eight points during that span, including two 3-pointers.


Ebers scored the Gremlins’ next five points, and St. Paul led 38-30 at halftime.


The Gremlins (12-9) climbed within one point three times in the third. Honor Kehde’s 3-pointer sliced their deficit to 42-41. Kelsey Keele later scored on a putback (44-43) and two free throws (46-45). Keele finished with eight points.


“I thought we played really hard,” Bestgen said, “and I thought in the third quarter, we made a nice little run. (I) thought we had a chance to take the lead. We couldn’t keep them from driving in the paint whether we were in our zone or man-to-man.”


The Saints (15-5) had another run in them, though. They scored the next 10 points to take a 56-45 lead in the fourth.


Sacred Heart had chances to cut into that lead, but Cox and Keele each missed the front end of one and ones.


St. Paul finished off the Gremlins with a 7-0 spurt that included six points coming from Rebecca Roepe.


Despite closing the game on a 6-1 run, the Gremlins simply ran out of time.


“We were settling for too many threes,” Bestgen said of the fourth quarter. “We hit those threes early in the game. We didn’t hit them late, and they got away from us.”


The Gremlins played most of the second half without Cox, who drew her third foul early in the third quarter.


“They’re bigger than us. Foul trouble was an issue,” Bestgen said. “Claudia fouled out in the fourth quarter. That was where the physicality was.”


Bennett paced St. Paul with 22 points, Roepe had 16, Madison Pitsch had 10 and Breanna Vogelsmeier had eight.


“They’re a really good team,” Bestgen said of St. Paul. “(They are) offensively balanced in what they want to do. They’re difficult to defend. That was our biggest problem tonight. We just couldn’t defend well enough.”


The Gremlins, who are one of four teams with only one Kaysinger Conference loss, close out the season against Stover on Wednesday and Windsor on Thursday before finishing at Northwest on Friday.


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