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Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
Seton girls basketball stymies Notre Dame in game of runsDec 11, 2012
It was an uneven performance by both teams Tuesday night in a DivisIon II girls basketball showdown between defending state champ Seton Catholic and contender-in-the-making Notre Dame Prep.
Seton had the better runs and enough of its trademark defense to hold off Notre Dame, 56-45, at Seton Catholic.
Seton won its fifth consecutive game -- all power-point games -- to run its overall record to 9-2. Notre Dame brought a 5-0 record -- all power-point triumphs -- to the game. The Saints had a couple of brief leads in the first four minutes, but after that they had to play catch up. To their credit they kept the heat on the hosts to the final couple minutes.
"There were moments we looked real good and then I'd stand there confounded by decisions we made," Seton coach Karen Self said. "We played good enough defense for the most part. Overall we were up and down."
Seton's inside presence of Julia Barcello and Heather Heild were too much in the end for Notre Dame. The Sentinels post players tallied 17 points apiece and helped Seton control the boards Heild was 7-of-14 from the field and Barcello 6-of-11. Their efforts went a long way in neutralizing a bad night for turnovers for the Sentinels. For a stretch in the second period they were winning the turnover battle by six((when their lead jumped from one to 15). By halftime the turnover margin was down to two and when the final buzzer sounded Seton had 23 turnovers to 21 for Notre Dame. Anne Marie Holter also scored in double figures for Seton, finishing with 12 points.
"It was a sloppy game on our part," Notre Dame coach Andy Kiltz said. "We missed a lot of shots we have been making. But Seton plays very good man-to-man defense. It was a game of runs. They had more."
The first run came with Seton leading 8-7 with four minutes left in the opening quarter. The next time Notre Dame scored was almost seven minutes later with Seton leading 23-9 with 5:20 left before halftime. Notre Dame switched defenses and went to a 1-3-1 press that turned the tide to intermission. A three-point play by the Saints' Mollie Hughes (team-high 12 points) with 1:31 left sliced the lead to 28-22. Seton led at halftime, 30-23.
A couple of steals by Seton's Susan Spinner and two baskets in the final 30 seconds put the Sentinels up 43-29 heading to the final quarter. The margin was 16 in the first 30 seconds of the fourth, but Notre Dame paced by aggressive play offensively from Hughes managed to cut the lead to nine in the final 90 seconds. Sub-par free-throw shooting in the fourth period could have made it tighter. Notre Dame made only 1-of-6 from the line in the final period.
"When we played them last year we didn't get to the line enough," Kiltz said. "We were 7-of-8 last year and they shot something like 27 free throws. We left too many points off the board."
Anne Marie Holter joined Barcello and Heild in double figures, finishing with 12 points. Guard Monica Turley finished with 11 points for Notre Dame and Taylor Masson added eight. Notre Dame (5-1) isn't through with its toughest week of the regular season. The Saints host Thunderbird on Thursday and Saguaro on Friday. Kiltz liked what he saw at times Tuesday, but hopes for betterl games and results two of the next three nights.
"We're pretty young," Kiltz said. "At times tonight we had a freshman, a sophmore, two juniors and a senior on the floor. We had a game earlier we scored 60 points and 58 of those were by underclassman. We're coming along."
Self was a little frustrated with her team's performance since it had an alternating good stretch, bad stretch theme.
"We have an expectation since we didn't graduate a lot of seniors that our intensity would be high," Self said. "It was there and then gone at times. But it's the week before finals and with that mixed in it is hard to maintain."