Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

June 29, 2013

St. Anthony defense fuels 2-1 showing

The Effingham Shootout, with running clocks and rusty summer offenses, allowed defensive-minded St. Anthony coach Bart Wiedman the perfect opportunity on Friday to school his young team on the value of getting stops. Points were at a premium, meaning the importance of a sound defense became even more valuable.

Much to the delight of their coach, the Lady Bulldogs were in lockdown mode defending the basket, picking up two early wins over Mount Olive and Centralia where they gave up 36 points combined.

“No matter who we’ve played at any level, they’ve stepped up and played really, really hard,” Wiedman said.

In the morning game, St. Anthony held Mount Olive without a made field goal in the first half, and surrendered just three by the final buzzer in a 40-11 win.

“We’ve played really at a high level defensively, which is nice,” Wiedman said. “Most of the summer we’ve spent working on our weakness—shooting the basketball.”

Fueled by a hungry defense, St. Anthony found its rhythm at the hoop, coasting to a 15-0 lead to start the game off six points apiece from Megan Nuxoll and Kate Richards and a Makayla Walsh 3-pointer.

By halftime, the Lady Bulldogs had outpaced the overmatched Lady Wildcats to a 31-4 lead, and all four Mount Olive points came at the free throw line. Ten players split playing time for St. Anthony, as Wiedman went deep into his lineup to give his roster some experience.

“My six through ten girls—I played them for about eight or nine minutes straight,” Wiedman said. “We built a big lead, but a lot of that was them sticking the ball in the hole.”

Mount Olive carried only six able-bodied players, allowing St. Anthony to work on its shot selection.

“Last year we took the first shot that was available,” Wiedman said. “Moving the ball (this summer) has been really nice. We’ve moved the ball a lot more.”

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