St. Pat’s used pressure defense, a little patience and adjustments to roll to a 74-40 win over Perkins County on Tuesday night.
A little foul trouble for Shania Metcalf of Perkins County helped as well.
The Lady Irish used a 9-0 run after Metcalf left in the first quarter after picking up her second foul to open a 19-8 lead and Perkins County never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.
“Coach [Deanne] Bishop had her team ready to play,” said St. Pat’s assistant coach Brad Braithwait. “They did a good job early breaking the press and were clogging things inside.
“We only had outside looks early and they weren’t falling.”
The Lady Plainsmen used Metcalf at center court, throwing the ball high to her and letting her find an open teammate to break the press in the first quarter. Perkins County trailed just 10-8 when the senior post player picked up her second foul and had to go to the bench.
The Lady Irish picked up the pressure and secured several steals in the 9-0 run. Perkins County scored the last bucket of the first quarter to cut the margin to 19-10, but it was as close as the Lady Plainsmen would get the rest of the game.
In the second quarter, Metcalf picked up her third foul with 5:14 remaining and St. Pat’s pushed its lead to 41-20 by halftime.
Early in the quarter, Metcalf hit Shelby Allberry of St. Pat’s with an inadvertent elbow, causing Allberry to leave the game with a bloody mouth.
“She’ll be all right,” Braithwait said of the senior forward, who did return to action. “She might need a couple of stitches, but she’ll be OK.”
The Lady Irish pushed the lead to 30 after three quarters and used the bench the remainder of the game.
Sam Byrn led the Lady Irish on the night with 20 points, while Mandy O’Malley scored 16 and Brittany Lawrence scored 13 points. Allberry finished the game with nine points.
“It shows how deep we are,” Braithwait said. “We’ve got six players who can score on any night and we do a good job of finding the hot hand.
“It proves just how tough we can be on any night when others can step up and lead us in scoring.”
Carlie Waitley scored 14 points to lead the Lady Plainsmen. Michi Prante scored eight points and Jessi Hoffert and Metcalf each added six points.
St. Pat’s is now 4-0 on the season and have beaten two SPVA Conference opponents to start the season.
“I don’t think there will be a let down,” Braithwait said when asked if he felt the team might get complacent during its successful stretch to open the season. “We go hard after it every day in practice and I don’t think there will be any let down with these girls.
“We have great senior leadership and I don’t think they will let down at all.”
St. Pat’s plays at home on Thursday, hosting Gothenburg. Perkins County, which fell to 2-3 on the season, will play at Sidney on Friday.