Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


December 27, 2013

Lady Bulldogs swept in Mattoon

Comeback falls short vs. Olney

MATTOON — The word "free" in free throws seemed to be a sticking point for the St. Anthony Lady Bulldogs Thursday at the Mattoon Holiday Tournament.

St. Anthony (7-3) trailed by as many as 15 points in their second game against Olney, only for a furious fourth-quarter comeback to fall short in a 50-45 loss.

The first game of the day against Salem didn't go much better, as they fell 49-34 to the Lady Wildcats.

The common thread was missed free throws, as they went 5-for-18 in the five-point loss to Olney and 5-for-16 against Salem.

"That's part of running the same group of girls," said St. Anthony coach Bart Wiemdan. "That's something in a tournament, there's not much time to get refocused."

In the second game against Olney, the Bulldogs took an early 5-4 lead with 5:01 left in the first, only to be held without a field goal for 8:23 as Olney went on a 17-1 run to take control of the game.

From there, St. Anthony treaded water for most of the second and third quarters, playing Olney even but failing to cut into the deficit, trailing 19-6 after one and 40-28 after three quarters.

The offense was led by Kate Richards for most of the game, scoring 12 points over the first three quarters as the Lady Bulldogs struggled against Olney's defense.

But as their defense picked up, so did their offense. Richards would finish with 23 points and five 3-pointers, while Megan Nuxoll shrugged off a scoreless first half and finished with nine points.

"They did a really good job," Wiedman said. "It's our defense (that) makes us go. When we don't play hard on the defensive end of the floor, then our offense isn't real focused."

St. Anthony trailed 46-34 with 5:34 left after a Taylor Rauch 3-pointer.

Richards and Nuxoll came through with a furious 10-0 rally, as the Bulldogs pulled with two at 46-44 after a Richards three with 1:58 left.

The comeback fell short from there though, as the Lady Tigers iced the game at the free-throw line and waned out the clock.

It was a team effort throughout, however, despite the bigger scoring numbers by Richards and Nuxoll.

"While Kate and Megan did a great job of sticking the ball in the hole and shooting, those other girls did a good job of rebounding and getting them open off shots," Wiedman said. "I thought Morgan did a good job distributing the basketball, Abby Brown played a really good ballgame in the second half."

Emma Richards had four points off the bench, while Abby Brown, Morgan Gardewine and Hunter Niebrugge all added three points each.

St. Anthony vs. Salem

A similar thread to the first game played out in the Bulldogs' morning loss to Salem, with the Wildcats taking a big lead early against St. Anthony.

Unlike the Olney game, St. Anthony's comeback wasn't there, as they trailed 21-8 after one and fell by 15 in a 49-34 loss.

Nuxoll topped the team with 12 points, while Brown was the second-leading scorer with four. Kate Richards had just four points, as St. Anthony's leading scorer was bottled up by the Lady Wildcats.

After an 0-2 start to the tournament, the Lady Bulldogs open play at 8:30 a.m. today with their final pool game against Decatur McArthur. They'll play again in the afternoon session with a crossover game, and play their final game Saturday.

It's clear to Wiedman what he wants out of his squad.

"We need to put together 32 minutes of basketball," Wiedman said. "We're leaving eight minutes on the floor. If we come out 3-2, I'll be real happy."

St. Anthony     8     8     7     11     34

Salem     21     12     9     7     49

St. Anthony: Gardewine 2, Wendt 2, Mumm 2, Nuxoll 12, Brown 5, K. Richards 4, E. Richards 4, Schuette 3

Salem: Holst 11, Gregg 3, Cook 7, Holst 3, Baer 4, Beer 9, Watson 8, Sager 4

St. Anthony     6     10     12     17     45

Olney     19     10     11     10     50

St. Anthony: K. Richards 23, Nuxoll 9, Gardewine 3, Brown 3, E. Richards 4, H. Niebrugge 3

Olney: Shipman 11, Miller 10, Rauch 10, Luna 6, Graves 5, Inyart 8


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