The St. Mary’s girl’s basketball team posted a 26 point victory over GFW Thunderbirds last Friday night, winning 57 to 31. Yet despite the large margin of victory, the game was tighter than the score would indicate. Once again somebody sneaked into the gym and nailed a lid on the baskets before the game. The shooting on both sides was miserable, especially in the first half. Even so, the Knights had a 10-point lead midway through the opening half, but GFW kept chipping away at it and the teams went into the locker room with St. Mary’s leading 29-21. You could tell from the grim look on coach Bruce Woitas’ face as he stalked into the locker room with his subdued team that some strong motivational words were in the offing.

Whatever coach Woitas said seemed to work. The Knights played a much more disciplined second half and concentrated on working the ball inside to their taller players:  Jenna Hose, Jessica Schmitz and Ellen Mathiowetz. Maddy Helget also found her outside shooting range and led all scorers with 21 points. Hose played one of her best games this season with determined rebounding and strong play under the rim. She had 12 points and 11 rebounds. A much better defensive effort held the Thunderbirds to 10 points in the second half, while St. Mary’s scored 28 for the 57-31 win. Halle Buse led GFW with 11 points. Only a seventh grader, Buse is going to be a terrific player once she gains some experience.

I liked the way we played defense in the second half, much better than we played in the first,” said Woitas, summing up the game. St. Mary’s is 7-5 overall and 3-3 in the Tomahawk Conference.
Game stats
Maddy Helget: 21 points, 4 steals, 2 assists
Jenna Hose:
12 points, 11 rebounds

St. Mary’s 52
Saint Clair 37
The Saint Clair cyclones brought a 9-3 record and a dominant post player in Ashley Thooft into St. Mary’s gym Tuesday night and figured to give the Knights a difficult night of it. St. Mary’s rose to the occasion and played perhaps their best first period of basketball all year. Jessica Schmitz, Ellen Mathiowetz and Jenna Hose did an excellent job of shutting down the 6’3” Thooft and held her to 13 points. Schmitz had 11 rebounds and Hose had eight. The Cyclones ran a one-dimensional offense in the first half, forcing the ball inside to Thooft, but the Knights countered with a running offense that left the Saint Clair players gasping for breath. In all fairness to the Cyclones, they played Monday night and clearly looked tired.
With crisp passing and deft shooting, the Knights took a 35-16 lead at the half and looked like they had the game well under control. However, Saint Clair is a good team and fought back in the second half just as St. Mary’s shooters got cold. The Cyclones got other players involved in their offense and some timely perimeter shooting helped close the gap to  11 points. St. Mary’s regrouped and relied on tenacious defense and a few timely baskets down the stretch to preserve the win. After the game, St. Mary’s guard Allison Woitas said, “This win is a real confidence builder for us.  Saint Clair is a good team and we are happy to get the win.”

Game stats
Maddy Helget: 11 points
Allison Woitas:
10 points, 6 steals
Jessica Schmitz:
10 points, 11 rebounds
Kenzie Schutz: 6 points
Jenna Hose: 8 rebounds