By Steve Raymond

News Report Staff

Coaches love it when their team follows the game plan.

For 16 minutes Monday night, the Teutopolis Lady Shoes did exactly that.

“After we scouted Mt. Carmel, we thought we could go after their guards,” Teutopolis coach Laurie Thompson said. “We put extreme pressure on them.”

And it paid off.

The Lady Shoes forced 16 turnovers in the opening half, and limited the Lady Aces to just one field goal and four free throws.

As a result, T-Town built a dominating 30-6 lead and rolled to a 60-39 win over Mt. Carmel in an opening-round game of the St. Anthony Class 2A Sectional.

The Lady Shoes will face Sullivan for the sectional championship at 7 p.m. Thursday.

THS scored the first eight points and were never challenged. Each of those four baskets came following turnovers. The Lady Shoes’ pressure made it difficult for the Lady Aces to even make passes.

After eight minutes, it was an 11-2 advantage and that margin continued to expand in the second period. Mt. Carmel turned the ball over 10 times and failed to connect on all seven shot attempts.

“We really got after it,” Thompson admitted. “We created turnovers and some easy baskets. We threw Mt. Carmel for a loop.

“The girls did exactly what we worked on,” Thompson added. “They were super aggressive in the passing lanes and on the boards. We played our style and our tempo, which is exactly what we needed. We really played well that first half.”

Macy Michels hit a bucket and a three-point play to open the second period. Jolene Bueker and Claire Bushur both scored six points, helping the Lady Shoes open that commanding 24-point advantage at intermission.

After two quarters, Mt. Carmel had made just 1-of-13 shots and turned the ball over 16 times.

But Thompson was also pleased with her team’s offensive performance in that first half.

“We ran our motion office and moved the ball well,” she noted. “When we ran it right, it was golden for us. We made those bounce passes to Macy, Claire and Jolene for some easy shots. That’s the way it’s supposed to work.”

But that same focus and intensity was missing as the third quarter unfolded.

“When I walked into the locker room at halftime, I just wanted to go right back out and keep playing,” Thompson said. “The girls did not have the same mindset or play with the same aggressiveness in the second half. Give Mt. Carmel credit. They kept after it. But we had way too many turnovers and gave up second chance points, which you just can’t do.”

The Lady Shoes maintained the 20-point lead through much of the second half, but they were also guilty of 13 turnovers, after just four in the first half. T-Town continued to shoot the ball well and owned a 45-20 edge heading into the final eight minutes.

The Lady Aces used an 11-2 run midway through the fourth period to get within 55-39. Three of the scores followed THS turnovers and two more were after grabbing offensive rebounds. But the Lady Shoes scored the final five points to close out the win.

Teutopolis had three players in double figures. Jolene Bueker led the way with 14 points, while Marianna Hemmen scored 12 and Sadie Bueker added 11.

The Lady Shoes improved to 26-6 on the season. They will now face Sullivan, a team they beat 59-29 in the season opener back in November.

“That doesn’t mean a lot now,” Thompson said. “Sullivan is well-coached and aggressive. They will press us. We have to come ready to play.”