A simple 2-3 press gave the Assumption girls fits for half of its nonconference game against Pacelli.
But only for half of the game.
The Royals scored 42 second-half points to soundly defeat the Cardinals 61-29 Saturday during the first game of a girls-boys doubleheader at Assumption High School.
“We were able to break their press in the first half and our zone took some their cutting to the basket away from them,” Pacelli coach Todd Rice said. “I’m proud of the way the girls played in the first half. Against a team as good as Assumption you want to win a minute, or a few minutes and we did that.”
Pacelli’s tactics gave the Cardinals a three-point lead at the end of the first quarter and trailed by just four at the half.
Then reality set in.
The Royals’ vaunted full court trap, which was minimally effective in the first half, shifted into high gear and created a whopping 14 Pacelli turnovers in the second half.
During Assumption’s big third quarter, eight different girls scored, with Mary Sigler, who scored a game-high 22 points, dropped in seven in the frame. The Royals also got double figure scoring from freshman Gena Grundhoffer, who finished with 10.
“We don’t see a lot of zones and we didn’t move well in the first half,” Assumpgion coach Joe Birkhauser said. “We didn’t move the ball and we didn’t make our cuts. We did too much standing around in the first half.
“I told the girls it wasn’t that they weren’t in good position, it was a lack of intensity,” Birkhauser added.
The short-handed Cardinals were only able to muster 14 points in the second half, but they did manage to have two girls score in double figures, Marisa Rice with 17 and Anna Lensmire with 10.
“We had two starters out and that doesn’t help when you face a team like Assumption,” Rice said. “Our bench isn’t very deep to begin with and I think we got tired legs in the second half.”
Assumption’s press aside, the Royals had a huge advantage in bench play. The Royals bench scored a combined 25 points.
“We were able to get a lot of girls in and everyone contributed tonight,” Birkhauser said. “We just didn’t do some of the things we like to do in the first half, but I liked our intensity in the second half.”
PACELLI: Marisa Rice 17, Anna Lensmire 10, Payton Hintz 2. Totals 6-24 16-22 29.
ASSUMPTION: Jenny Wanta 2, Mary Sigler 22, Sadie Zurfluh 6, Hannah Skibba 4, Gena Grundhoffer 10, Maddi Hohl 2, Macie Zurfluh 3, Jane Newman 2, Olivia Skibba 8. Totals 26-55 7-12 61.
3-pointers: Pacelli 1-3 (Rice); Assumption 0-3.