Woodland, Saxony Lutheran girls basketball teams advance to Class 3 District 3 semifinals

Sunday, February 26, 2012

PARK HILLS, Mo. -- The Jefferson girls basketball team scored the first six points of its Class 3 District 3 quarterfinal against Woodland on Saturday.

It did not score again in the first quarter and added just four more points before halftime, which allowed No. 3 seed Woodland to surge to a 45-32 victory at West County High School.

Woodland missed its first seven shots of the contest.

"We probably had some first-game jitters," Woodland coach Gary Poyner said. "The thing was, though, I know they probably got a little frustrated at first because the shots weren't falling, but we were getting good shots.

"We weren't taking bad shots. We were taking good shots. We were taking shots we've shot all year. I just told the girls, 'Keep being patient, keep looking to take your shot. They're eventually going to start falling,' and they did."

The Cardinals scored 16 consecutive points after falling behind 6-0 and led 27-10 at halftime.

"Once you hit a couple buckets, it just seems to kind of relax you a little bit," Poyner said.

Woodland shot 37 percent (12 of 32) from the floor in the first half, but as often as not the Cardinals were the ones rebounding their misses before eventually scoring on subsequent opportunities.

"It's huge," Woodland senior Kendra Pinkley said about her team's rebounding prowess. "I mean, if we don't get on the boards then that's just allowing the other team to get it. We practice blocking out. We're always talking about it, 'Block out. Block out.' So I think that we just know that that's a huge part of the game, and we just strive to get rebounds and loose ball and stuff like that."

The 5-foot-11 Pinkley finished with 16 points and 21 rebounds. Josie Long led Woodland with 21 points and eight steals.

"It was a challenge," Long said about the win. "We went out there with our heads up, ready to play. We weren't expecting as much from them, but we came out and we had to play a game. We had to fight to win."

Jefferson started the third quarter on an 8-2 run, but Woodland answered with six consecutive points to close the quarter.

"They did a better job on the boards in the third quarter, especially," Poyner said. "They did a better job blocking us out. They were limiting us to one shot. At times, I felt like we forced the issue, forced the ball a little when we didn't have to. But on the flip side of that, that's part of our style. We want to look to attack the basket."

Woodland turned over the ball 21 times in the game, including 14 times in the second half.

"They did get us flustered at times," Pinkley said. "I think we just finally decided to settle down and calm down and play our ball."

While Jefferson limited the Cardinals' offensive rebounding in the second half, their defensive rebounding helped close out the victory.

"The big thing I wanted to do late was we did not want to get in a dead-ball situation and allow them to set up their press," Poyner said. "As long as you could limit them to one shot and get the rebound, you do not give them time to get set up in the press."

Woodland will face Saxony Lutheran in the semifinal round at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Saxony 47, Clearwater 45

The Saxony Lutheran girls basketball team pulled off the day's only upset.

The Crusaders, the No. 7 seed, upset No. 2 seed Clearwater 47-45 in their quarterfinal.

"It's a big win," Saxony Lutheran coach Sam Sides said. "Last year was the first time I think we won a district game since we've had a team, which we haven't had a team that many years. But that was a big win."

Saxony Lutheran led for most of the contest, and it took a Clearwater 3-pointer with three-tenths of a seconds remaining to bring the Tigers to within a basket.

"I thought we could beat them if we put the ball in the basket," Sides said. "We play hard and we do some good things. We get after people and we're aggressive, but a lot of time we can't score. Tonight we shot the ball better than we have been, so that helped us."

Saxony Lutheran led by six points after the first quarter and extended its lead to 29-19 at halftime.

"I tell them all the time that your record is relative to who you're playing," Sides said. "You can have not very good wins and losses, but you have to look at who you're playing more than anything else. We've gotten a lot better since the season started, too, I think."

Lauren Hecht and Natalie Mueller led the Crusaders with 12 points apiece. Abby Hadler and Maci Daniel both had eight.

Woodland and Saxony Lutheran already have played three times this season.

"We have beat them once," Sides said. "At least that'll help us believe we can do it again. We've just got to get it done."



JEFFERSON (32) -- Kristen Keeney 8, Brittany Clemens 6, Abrielle Lalumondier 2, Brooke Gray 2, Bailee Settle 12, Rita Williams 2. FG 15, FT 2-12, F 21. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none)

WOODLAND (45) -- Kendra Pinkley 16, Josie Long 21, Kathlyn Cooper 4, Lindsay Shell 4. FG 14, FT 16-28, F 16. (3-pointers: Long 1. Fouled out: Lindsey Craft)



SAXONY LUTHERAN (47) -- Abby Hadler 8, Kristy Winter 2, Regan Obermann 4, Lauren Hecht 12, Maci Daniel 8, Courtney Bergman 1, Natalie Mueller. FG 17, FT 8-24, F 19. (3-pointers: Obermann 1, Daniel 1, Mueller 1. . Fouled out: Daniel)

CLEARWATER (45) -- Hannah Rowold 4, Kyra Garrison 8, Haley Alcorn 8, Lexi Morris 21, Allie Holmes 4. FG 16, FT 13-19, FG 13. (3-pointers: Alcorn 2, Morris 4. Fouled out: none)

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