By Steve Raymond
News Report Staff
The final margin was 10 points
But it was a much closer game than that.
In fact, with a little under five minutes to play, Teutopolis held a slim two-point lead over their cross-creek rival St. Anthony.
But down the stretch, the Lady Bulldogs turned the ball over four times and the Lady Shoes scored the final eight points of the game to come away with a 41-31 win Monday night at The Enlow Center.
After Clare McHugh hit a short jumper, St. Anthony trailed by only a two-point margin, 33-31, with 4:34 to play. But both teams then started trading turnovers and missed shots.
Nearly two minutes passed before Sadie Bueker grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to put the Lady Shoes up 35-31 with 2:46 left. St. Anthony turned the ball over four times in the final two minutes and T-Town converted six straight free throws. Jamie Sandschafer hit four and Shelby Thompson two to secure the win.
“Our inexperience kicked in a little bit, especially late in the game,” St. Anthony coach Bart Wiedman said. “But our defensive effort was great. We held a very good team to 35 points until near the end. We’ll take that every day of the week.”
“We had some good flashes and got some defensive stops,” Lady Shoes coach Laurie Thompson noted. “But I wasn’t thrilled with how we handled their pressure at the end. We threw the ball away a couple times. Overall, we looked good at times and bad at times. And so did they.”
Had it not been for Sandschafer, Teutopolis would have been in trouble in the first half. While St. Anthony was spreading the scoring around, the Lady Shoes relied on Sandschafer, especially after Thompson was whistled for her second foul in the first period.
Abbie Schmidt, Abby Weis and Meg Richards each scored to give the Lady Bulldogs a quick 6-0 lead. Sandschafer finally got THS on the board nearly four minutes into the game with a 3-pointer.
Sandschafer scored 12 of her game-high 18 points in the opening half. Her three-point play gave the Lady Shoes a brief 12-11 lead to open the second period. But Olivia Clausius and Sydney Gibson both scored four points to send St. Anthony to the locker room with a 21-17 advantage.
“I told the girls at halftime we needed to get stops and make shots,” Coach Thompson said. “Jamie kept us in the game that first half. I was thankful we were only down four.”
Thompson made a defensive change in the second half. After playing a switching man-to-man defense and keying on Weis, St. Anthony’s leading scorer, Thompson assigned Morgan Mette to guard her in the second half.
“We kept switching, but she was able to find open players for good shots,” Thompson said. “So we stopped switching and told Morgan to stay on her. Morgan was the key to our second half defense. She gave us a spark that seemed to help everyone else. She did a super job.”
Thompson returned to the floor in the third period and made an immediate impact. She hit a pair of jumpers, a three and two free throws and scored 9 of T-Town’s 14 points that helped the Lady Shoes take the lead. Raegan Drees hit a free throw and Thompson and Jolene Bueker both scored to send THS into the fourth period with a 31-27 lead.
Both teams are known for playing good defense and that was on display Monday night. Both teams shot 37 percent from the floor and combined for 37 turnovers – St. Anthony had 20; Teutopolis 17.
“That’s what happens when both teams play good defense,” Wiedman said.
After shooting nearly 50 percent in the first half, the Lady Bulldogs connected on only 4-of-16 attempts in the second half and scored just 10 points.
“I thought we got to the bucket and had some pretty good looks at times,” Wiedman said. “We just couldn’t get some of our shots to fall and we couldn’t get to the free throw line. We’ve relied on that this year.
“Plus, good teams have kids that make plays,” the St. Anthony coach added. “That’s what experience does for you. That’s why Laurie’s teams are always so good. But we gave them our best shot.”
Weis led her team with nine points, while Clausius and Gibson both scored nine.
Thompson joined Sandschafer in double figures with 11.
“In that third quarter, Shelby basically did what Jamie did for us in the first half,” Coach Thompson said. “Everybody knows she can shoot the three, but she put the ball on the floor and got inside or to the bucket. She did a nice job.”
Coach Thompson was impressed with the Lady Bulldogs.
“They defended us very well,” she said. “We missed some shots we normally make and it hurt us having Shelby in early foul trouble. But they knew who our shooters were and did a nice job.
“We need games like this the rest of the season,” Thompson added. “They made us work our tails off and that makes us better. Bart has done a nice job with his team.”
St. Anthony, now 8-4, will travel to Newton Thursday and to Arthur Saturday.
T-Town, which improved to 9-2, will be at home Thursday to face Paris and Saturday against Olney. The Lady Shoes will then play Monday at Carterville.