Richards scored a game-high 12 points, Nuxoll closed with 11 and Hunter Niebrugge added six.
The Lady Bulldogs faced a stiffer test in their second game, taking on Class 3A foe Centralia. After surrendering eight points in the initial four minutes, it took the Annies 25 more minutes before they doubled their score, and St. Anthony pulled away for a 30-25 win.
The increase in intensity allowed St. Anthony to overcome an early five-point deficit and turn it into a seven point lead in the second half. Trailing by two at the break, the Lady Bulldogs erupted for six straight points to open the final half, the last two off a Nuxoll putback, to create a lead they wouldn’t surrender.
“We ran the floor really well to get baskets,” Wiedman said. “Those are things we just weren’t that good at last year, finding ways to score.”
The Lady Bulldogs found enough scoring down the stretch. Walsh’s steal and layup with 2:15 left to play gave St. Anthony a 30-23 lead. Centralia’s Abbey Holtkamp scored her 11th and 12th points on the next trip down the floor, but the Bulldogs killed the rest of the clock.
Maggie Mumm led St. Anthony with eight points, Niebrugge scored six and Richards closed with five.
Capping off the day was a 3:00 p.m. showdown with Salem, the third game in four hours for Wiedman’s group.
The defense was understandably tired, allowing 36 points in a six-point defeat, 36-30.
St. Anthony returns to action in the Effingham Shootout today at 9 a.m. against Rochester.
Braden Layer can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.