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Central girls wear down Saxony Lutheran 46-29

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Central's Alayah Cooper-Johnson tries to steal the ball from Saxony Lutheran's Abby Hartmann during the first quarter Wednesday.
(Fred Lynch)
The Saxony Lutheran Crusaders were poised to prove their recent 55-42 loss to Central in the Show Me Center Holiday Classic was a fluke.

The Crusaders appeared to be on the right track after one quarter, but the Tigers used a strong final three quarters to bury Saxony and post a 46-29 victory at home Wednesday.

Saxony got off to a strong start, leading 9-8 after the first quarter thanks to intense defensive pressure.

"We were boxing out very well inside," Crusaders coach Rick Chastain. "Just giving them one shot. We were able to get some defensive rebounds. The basic thing was we were playing very, very good defense in the first quarter."

The Tigers seemed sluggish at the start, committing careless turnovers and appearing lax on the defensive end.

Saxony Lutheran's Julia Steffens loses control of the ball to Central defender Chelsea Vinson during the third quarter Wednesday.
(Fred Lynch)
"We had a hard time getting anything going," Central coach Sherri Shirrell said. "I think that carried over a little bit from Saturday. We didn't play well on Saturday. I think our heads were still not quite ready to play today. But we came out the second half and I thought we played a lot better the second half."

The Tigers turned the tide in the second quarter.

Central increased its defensive pressure and used a 6-0 spurt midway through the second quarter to take a lead it never relinquished.

Saxony took a 12-11 lead after Abby Hartmann drained two free throws, but Central answered.

Chelsea Pannier netted two free throws and added a basket, and Megan Daly added two points to take a 17-12 lead.

The Tigers held the Crusaders to just six points in the second quarter, taking a 19-15 lead into the half.

"We were switching our defenses up," Shirrell said. "Trying a few new things that we hadn't tried before. Threw those in there tonight and wanted to see what we could do with them, and a couple of them worked."

Central gained more separation in the third quarter.

The Tigers limited the Crusaders to another six-point quarter and used five different scorers to increase their lead to 30-21.

"We were just working harder," Pannier said of the second half. "They got a little tired because they don't have very many people. We just started working harder in the second half. We got a good butt chewing in the locker room, so we played a lot better in the second half."

The Crusaders were able to manage clean looks at the basket but failed to convert.

"We had opportunity after opportunity," Chastain said. "We just couldn't get the ball to drop. We had some good looks at the basket, we just didn't have somebody to step up and make those shots tonight. But we're going to keep shooting because you can't score unless you shoot."

Pannier took over in the second half. The senior netted 15 of her game-high 21 points, with 10 coming in the fourth quarter.

"Chelsea Pannier was struggling with her shot in the first half," Shirrell said. "I told her at halftime, I said, 'It happens. You're going to miss your shot. You just got to keep shooting, so start taking it to the basket and keep shooting and your shot will come.'"

Central blew open the game in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers headed into the quarter with a 30-21 lead but quickly extended that with a full-court trap.

"We put on a press and we got a few turnovers out of it," Shirrell said. "And with Pannier taking the ball to the hole like she was in the fourth quarter and third quarter, it helped us offensively because our defense stepped up a little bit."

Added Chastain: "The legs weren't there for us for whatever reason because we work hard each and every day in practice. But again, a lot of that has to do with what Cape Central did to us. They get a lot of credit."


SAXONY LUTHERAN (29) -- Abby Hartmann 8, Julia Steffens 10, Lauren Hecht 7, Natalie Mueller 4. FG 9, FT 11-21, F 15. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none)

CENTRAL (46) -- Alayah Cooper-Johnson 4, Chelsea Pannier 21, Tori Scheller 3, Megan Daly 2, Chelsea Vinson 11, Stevie Buchheit 2, Katie Williams 3. FG 17, FT 11-18, F 17. (3-pointers: Pannier. Fouled out: none)

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Wow, can you say lopsided???? Can you not see the foul in the photo with #35, as to think hardly any of these were called in favor of Saxony. You failed to mention that one of the starters for Saxony did foul out in the third quarter, therefore this led for the advancement that Central had. If I was the coach of Cape, I would not be excited that it was a close game, as look at the number of athletes Cape gets to pool from as in comparison to Saxony.

-- Posted by rlwinter on Thu, Jan 20, 2011, at 10:46 PM

This is exactly why Central or Jackson shouldn't play these smaller schools. If they win it's, well you should win since you have so many more kids and if you lose it's man you are terrible. Last time I looked, Scott County Central was dominating large and small schools with a very small enrollment. At the end of the day it is 5 on 5. Even your analysis proves that Saxony could have made it closer or won had your starter not fouled out.

-- Posted by bulletman on Fri, Jan 21, 2011, at 9:12 AM

Maybe poor little Saxony should start recruiting a little better. Call Notre Dame, they can give you some recruiting pointers!

-- Posted by Mario99 on Fri, Jan 21, 2011, at 9:49 AM

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