Effingham Daily News
St. Anthony can usually count on Kate Richards and Megan Nuxoll to score about 16 points apiece every game, but Teutopolis swarmed the Bulldogs' top scorers and held its rivals to 16 points total.
Both teams entered Monday night's game with undefeated records, but the Wooden Shoes held the Bulldogs to four second-half points in a 45-16 win.
Madeline Hartke, who led the Shoes with 13 points, knew the scouting report on Richards and Nuxoll and executed it, specifically shutting down Richards.
Hartke said Richards likes to aggressively isolate on offense, trying to get to the basket and draw fouls. She said Richards did it “really well,” even though she only scored five points.
Then, there was Nuxoll, who Hartke said likes to get a lot of her points around the basket, often capitalizing on offensive rebounds. Hartke said she shared her analysis with her teammates, who collectively held Nuxoll to four points.
But most of that was when St. Anthony crossed half court, something the Bulldogs didn't do as often in the second half as it did in the first.
“They just wore us down with full-court pressure, non-stop, the entire time,” St. Anthony head coach Bart Wiedman said. “We just ran out of gas.”
Teutopolis (8-0) led by a slim 16-12 margin at halftime, as St. Anthony's offense executed in half-court sets after breaking the Shoes' press.
Abby Brown sank a 3-pointer in the second quarter that brought the Bulldogs within two points, 12-10, with 2:53 to go in the half.
“They ran their offense very well,” Teutopolis head coach Laurie Thompson said. “They had a lot of open looks. They were dropping shots and the boards were killing us.”
The Bulldogs had three of their four offensive rebounds in the first half and nine of their 16 defensive rebounds.
Also, Teutopolis wasn't at full strength to offer its best full-court press effort. Starters Jessica Schumacher and Danielle Repking sat for much of the first half with foul trouble.
“When I have Danielle on the bench and don't have that other guard out there with Cierra (Thompson), that makes a big difference,” Thompson said. “People don't realize that.”
But the full starting lineup began the second half and Teutopolis almost immediately jumped to a larger lead. The Shoes scored six points in the first two minutes of the third quarter and scored the the first 12 points of the quarter – holding St. Anthony to two points in eight minutes.
Cierra Thompson had four of her six steals in the second half and Anna Hartke had two of her three, including one that helped start the rally early in the third quarter.
St. Anthony (6-1, 3-0 NTC) turned the ball over 21 times in the game, including 15 times in the second half. The Teutopolis defense created its offense, which Wiedman knew his team couldn't allow.
“We wanted to keep them in the half-court set because we thought if we did that, we could make them work for every shot they could get,” Wiedman said. “The last thing we wanted to do was get in a track meet with them because they have superb athletes.”
The Shoes outscored the Bulldogs 29-4 in the second half and Thompson didn't have an clue until the radio announcer told her during a postgame interview.
“Well, that's pretty good,” she said.
In the second half, Thompson adjusted her defense and allowed it to do something she would never allow it to: “Our big and small (players) were switching.”
It was a new look for the Teutopolis press and it worked. The look of the press was something St. Anthony probably hadn't seen before, Thompson said.
“It eventually did wear them down,” Thompson said. “You could just kind of tell with one ball handler (Wiedman) had. That's tough.”
Teutopolis remains undefeated and will travel to Edwardsville on Tuesday. St. Anthony hosts Tri-County on Thursday.
Teutopolis 10 6 12 17 45
St. Anthony 4 8 2 2 16
Teutopolis: Schumacher 2, Hardiek 1, Repking 6, Giles 3, A. Hartke 6, Gebben 2, Thompson 12, M. Hartke 13
St. Anthony: Gardewine 2, Nuxoll 4, Brown 5, Richards 5