The Lloyd and St. Henry girls’ basketball teams entered Thursday’s 34th District seeding game with vastly different results over the last few weeks.
Host Lloyd had won five of its last seven games ahead of the crosstown showdown in Erlanger where the schools are separated by about a mile. St. Henry had lost seven of nine.
The Crusaders got well pretty quick against the Juggernauts, bolting to a 23-10 first-quarter lead on the way to a 61-40 victory.
Lloyd, off to its best start in years, entertained ideas of knocking off its longtime nemesis. The Crusaders nixed that notion, winning their 12th game in a row against the Juggernauts.
The last time the Juggernauts (9-6) beat the Crusaders (6-7) was Jan. 6, 2007 at Lloyd. Since then, the Crusaders have been rough on everybody in the 34th District. The defending champions have won the district tournament five of the past six seasons.
Helping St. Henry bolt out the gate fast Thursday were senior Savannah Neace and sophomore Paige Noble, each scoring eight points in the opening quarter.
Noble scored a game-high 18 points, 10 coming in the first half. Neace, a Kent State recruit, scored 17 points, 15 in the opening half.
“We wanted to take it to them,” Neace said. “We’re a little bigger, and we wanted to be first to the ball.”
The pair combined for 27 rebounds. Neace, a 6-foot-2 center, pulled down a game-high 15, two more than Lloyd had as a team. Noble, a 5-9 guard, had 12 rebounds.
“In the first quarter, we did a lot of getting the ball inside,” said Noble. “And I thought we did a good job getting the ball up the floor, especially against the press. But they backed off it once we started beating it.”
St. Henry outrebounded the Juggernauts, 35-13.
“We executed well in half-court sets and did well with our halfcourt defense,” St. Henry coach Paul Sturgeon said. “We caused them problems defensively, but we need to take better care of the basketball. I’m happy with the outcome.”
Lloyd was led by ShaMaya Behanan and Meagan Sipple, each scoring nine points. Devin Cheatum, averaging 10 points per game for the Juggernauts, was held to six. Lloyd shot 25.4 percent (13-for-51) from the field.
“They executed a lot, and put the ball in the hoop,” Lloyd coach Tyler Teke said. “On our part, I bet we missed 10 layups. That’s 20 points right there, and we lost by 21.”
St. Henry (6-7): Noble 7 4 18, Neace 6 5 17, McGinnis 3 3 10, Kellam 2 3 7, Miller 2 0 4, Potts 1 0 3, Hentz 1 0 2. Totals 22 15 61
Lloyd (9-6): Behanan 4 0 9, Sipple 3 2 9, Cheatum 2 0 6, Gentry 1 4 6, Binkley 2 0 5, Webster 1 0 2, Brown 0 2 2, Yates 0 2 2. Totals 13 10 41.
Halftime: SH, 42-25. 3-pointers: SH 2 (McGinnis, Potts ). L 5 (Cheatum 2, Binkley, Behanan).