Lourdes Academy coach Ali Fett just likes to beat good teams.
It doesn’t matter if the opponent resides in the larger Division 1, Division 2 or an ultra-talented school of the same size, as long as the Knights play hard, play well and emerge victorious.
“A team like North and a program that’s on the rise like it is, that’s a big deal to me, but I expect that we win every game we play,” Fett said following the Knights’ 48-37 victory over Oshkosh North on Tuesday night at The Castle. “We play to win and I don’t put a team on our schedule that I don’t feel confident we’ll put ourselves in a position to succeed.”
It was the third win over a Division 1 team for the Knights this season, but this one — being against a school located within walking distance — was a bit more special.
“Yeah, it as a big win for us tonight,” junior Lauren Fischer said. “A lot of us have friends at North, too, so it was fun to play them.”
The Knights, the sixth-ranked team in Division 4, broke the game open late in the second quarter and never trailed after that.
The Spartans, who were coached by assistant Tim Schmidt with head coach Rachel Biertzer unavailable due to illness, got a lay up from Brooklyn Schamens to take a 19-18 lead with 3:54 left in the first half.
But Lourdes rattled off nine straight points — six from Hunter Godfroy and three from Maddy Reed — before halftime to send the Knights into intermission with an eight-point cushion.
“I think it gives us a lot of momentum,” Fischer said. “We always work really hard at coming out strong out of halftime, so I think having a good short amount of time before halftime, helped us come out strong after halftime.”
North narrowed the gap to five points midway through the third and trailed by seven with 1:40 to go, but were never able to mount a full-fledged charge against the Knights.
“The coaches came up with a very good gameplan and I think we executed exactly what they wanted us to do,’ Fischer said. “Coach Ali always says we always play really unselfish and that we all care more about winning than who scores the most points, so I think all of that really helped us win tonight.”
Reed finished with 14 points to lead Lourdes, with Fischer adding 13 and Godfroy chipping in 12 points, but scoring wasn’t the only category where the Knights showcased some balance.
Five different players had at least five rebounds for Lourdes, led by seven apiece from Reed and Mady Engstrom, while Crystal Combs had a team-high five assists as the Knights registered 11 assists on 21 field goals.
“I think it says as a team that we are all-around really good and well balanced,” Godfroy said. “The points I get are from opportunities made from other players. … It’s everybody helping out and putting forth the energy.”
Schamens poured in a game-high 19 points to lead the Spartans, who were hampered at the end of the game by a lack of fouls.
North didn’t commit its first team foul of the second half until late in the fourth quarter, which prevented them from sending the Knights to the free-throw line, hoping some misses would allow for a comeback.
“I told the team they have to go after the ball like piranhas. If we got the steal great, but a foul was not the worst thing in the world because we need some fouls,” Schmidt said. “I was really happy with our girls with the effort they gave. They competed hard and they went after it. Lourdes is a just very good team.
Notes: The two teams combined for just eight fouls in the game and Lourdes did not commit a foul in the first half. … The Knights out-rebounded the Spartans, 31-22. … Lourdes played its fourth straight game without seniors Laura McDermott and Jess Roberts, which meant the Knights did not have a senior on the court in the game. … Prior to the game Fett was honored for her 100th career coaching win, which she got last Friday against Markesan.
Game ball: Godfroy, for her 12 points, including six in the game-breaking second-quarter spurt, and five rebounds.
Numbers game: 2, the number of free throws Lourdes attempted in the game.
Oshkosh North…11 8 9 9 — 37
Lourdes Acad….15 12 11 10 — 48
Oshkosh North: Welsh 4, Robl 2, Herkert 6, Schamens 19, Adams 6. 3-pointers: 7 (Schamens 4, Adams 2, Herkert). FTs: 4-5. Total fouls: 5.
Lourdes Academy: Combs 5, Reed 14, Godfroy 12, Spanbauer 2, Fischer 13, Engstrom 2. 3-pointers: 5 (Fischer 3, Reed, Combs). FTs: 1-2. Total fouls: 3.