South Central broke open a close game with a strong third quarter and cruised to a 70-46 win over St. Paul on Thursday night in Firelands Conference action at the convocation center.
With the win, the Lady Trojans improved to 11-1 overall and 8-1 in the FC, while the Lady Flyers dropped to 7-6 and 6-3.
South Central led 24-19 at the half before outscoring the hosts 23-9 in the third quarter.
South Central coach Becky Hintz delivered a clear message at halftime.
“We needed to keep up the pressure defense and hustle back,” she said. “Too many times in the first quarter we didn’t hustle back.”
The Lady Trojans placed four players in double figures, led by junior Anna Hintz, who scored 21 points and grabbed 18 rebounds.
Junior Desiree Kilgore netted 13 points and had six rebounds for South Central, while freshman Summer Sweeting scored 11 and senior Olivia Blanton added 10.
Senior Alexis Huffman chipped in seven points for the visitors.
Hintz said she was just happy to win on the road.
“Especially, after the first game at our place,” she said, referring to South Central’s 56-49 win.
Hintz wasn’t thrilled with SC’s 28 turnovers.
“But, that is a credit to St. Paul’s defensive pressure,” she said.
South Central won the battle of the boards, 41-33.
“That was important because St. Paul is a very good rebounding team,” Hintz said.
The Lady Trojans will have a light practice today as they prepare to play at Hillsdale at 2 p.m. Saturday. There is no jayvee game against Hillsdale.
“We really need to focus on our defense,” Hintz said.
St. Paul had jumped out to a 14-6 lead on Thursday and maintained a 14-11 advantage after one period.
The Lady Trojans held a 13-5 scoring edge in the second to claim a five-point intermission lead.
St. Paul was led by senior Lydia Ott, who had 13 points and six rebounds.
Senior Bella Stoll chipped in 11 points, while freshman Caitlin Good added eight.
“We started out well and had our moments,” St. Paul coach Vicky Mahl said.
“At times, throughout the game, we had moments where we looked good,” she added. “We, as a team, just need to figure out how to come out and play four quarters of basketball.”
The Lady Flyers struggled shooting the ball, hitting 17-of-62 from the field and 12-of-27 at the free-throw line.
“We need to make our foul shots,” Mahl said.
St. Paul was 0-of-12 in three-point shots.
The Lady Flyers committed 21 turnovers.
St. Paul has a busy week coming up, with a home game Tuesday versus St. Mary CC, at Plymouth on Thursday and home against Monroeville on Jan. 25.
South Central finished the evening 25-of-50 from the floor and 18-of-30 at the line.
St. Paul won the jayvee game, 50-48 on two free throws by Emily Baker with 5.6 seconds left.
Ashley Painley and Elyse Roth each scored 12 points for St. Paul.
South Central was paced by Ashlee Tuttle with 19 points.