St. Joseph's ousts Jackson girls in Class 5 girls basketball sectional

Thursday, March 1, 2012
Jackson players Connor King, left, Dru Haertling, Rachel Hodo and Melanie Dockins watch the final moments of their Class 5 sectional game with St. Joseph's Academy on Wednesday in Farmington, Mo. (Fred Lynch)

FARMINGTON, Mo. -- Jackson seniors Dru Haertling and Connor King have enjoyed an extremely successful career for the Indians.

But that career came to an end Wednesday night when Jackson ran into a St. Joseph's Academy team loaded with Division I talent.

The Angels routed Jackson 54-21 in a Class 5 sectional at the Farmington Civic Center.

St. Joseph's features two 6-foot-1 University of Missouri bound twins, Morgan and Maddie Stock, and 6-3 Sydney Stipanovich.

The Stock twins are seniors, while Stipanovich is a junior.

Jackson's Dru Haertling tries to shoot against St. Joseph's Maddie Stock during the first quarter of their Class 5 sectional game Wednesday. (Fred Lynch)

"They're so long," Jackson coach Tyler Abernathy said. "And they're so long up top. Where they can guard you and contest your shot and do all that from about three feet away, so it's very difficult to penetrate by them. Their size is phenomenal. Not only are they big, but they move very well so you think maybe we're smaller and we have a little bit of quickness, but you realize they're just as quick and it makes it very difficult to get things done offensively."

The Angels' size was too much for the much smaller Indians.

Jackson shot 7 of 43 (16 percent) for the game, including a 1 of 17 from beyond the arc (6 percent).

"First off, they're long," Haertling said. "They have two 6-1 guards at the top of the key that made it hard for us to pass around. They are just smart defensively. They know where you're going before you pass it. They're attentive and focused. There's not a lapse in their defense."

The length stifled Jackson into a horrendous night from the floor and made it extremely difficult to stop the Angels on the defensive end, especially Stipanovich.

Jackson's Connor King tries to shoot as St. Joseph's Sydney Stipanovich knocks the ball away during the first quarter of the Class 5 sectional game Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 in Farmington, Mo. (Fred Lynch)

Stipanovich scored 13 of her game-high 21 points in the second half. She showed an array of post moves and midrange jumpers.

"Jackson is a great team," she said. "They really work the ball around, and their inside girls shoot really good. But we just tried to work the ball around and use our size to our advantage and really talk on defense. We always say that when we start on defense and we talk and we move a lot, it will pick up our offense naturally."

The Angels (25-5) jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first quarter before Jackson settled in.

The Indians (19-8) cut their deficit to 8-6, but that was the last time the Angels felt threatened.

"Early on, I thought we got good looks and missed them," Abernathy said. "We talked the last two days and worked on transition defense because they love to get out and run. I think sometimes when you play teams like that, you've got to see it to really believe it. They got out and they ran and they got a couple of layups early on. Then I thought we did a good job of settling down and realizing what they were trying to do offensively. We made a few shots and we got to that three- or four-point range. But then their depth and size and speed, and they went on another 6-0 or 7-0 run."

Jackson's Emily Davidson tries to beat the defense by St. Joseph's Sydney Stipanovich, right, and Maddie Stock during the fourth quarter Wednesday.

St. Joseph's had a field day in transition by using its size advantage to dominate the boards and speed and length to beat Jackson down the floor.

The Angels pushed their lead to 14-6 at the end of the first quarter and led 27-12 at halftime.

St. Joseph shot 10 of 17 (59 percent) from inside the arc in the first half, and the majority of its points came at the rim.

"You can't teach 6-1 and 6-3," Angels coach Julie Matheny said. "So that's a blessing that happened to walk into our door."

The Angels kept pulling away, while Haertling and King found it nearly impossible to find a good shot.

"They matched up really well with those two," Abernathy said. "The Stipanovich girl matches up really well with Connor, and either Stock girl matches up well with Dru. And they made them work really hard. Every catch they were there on the catch. Every shot was contested. And when you make players work really hard defensively and they never ever come out of the game, it makes it difficult as the night goes on."

Haertling was held to a team-high eight points on 2-of-19 shooting, while King was held to six points on 2-of-8 shooting.

"I thought we did a nice job limiting [Haertling] and her dribble penetration and good looks," Matheny said. "She's a nice ballplayer. And we put some size on the weak side as far as [King]. We had our weakside forward stepping in there and double teaming so she couldn't get an open look. We just needed to contain and take care of the boards, and I thought we'd be OK."

St. Joseph's switched between high pressure man-to-man defense and a 3-2 zone, using its length at all times to disrupt the Indians.

"We got in a little foul trouble early, so I had to put them back in the zone a little bit," Matheny said. "And especially we thought they'd come out and be shooting a lot of 3s in the second half to get back in the game, so if we go 3-2, we can at least get the long rebounds and get the kickouts and transition buckets."

The strategy worked. Jackson shot just 3 of 21 (14 percent), including missing all nine of its 3-point attempts, in the second half.

The Angels meanwhile were an efficient 10 of 18 (56 percent) from the field in the half to seal the win.

"They start three girls bigger than I am," King said. "That's huge. They take up quite a bit of space. They alter every shot. Inside-out, whatever, they alter it. It's huge because we don't play that kind of size in a regular season. So coming up here and the first time facing it, it was an adjustment."

St. Joseph's14131611--54

JACKSON (21) -- Dru Haertling 8, Rachel Crites 2, Emily Davidson 2, Connor King 6, Danielle Daume 3. FG 7, FT 6-8, F 10. (3-pointers: Daume. Fouled out: none)

ST. JOSEPH'S ACADEMY (54) -- Morgan Stock 11, Emmie Haring 5, Lexi Gorman 2, Maddie Stock 10, Abbey Combest 2, Sydney Stipanovich 21, Erin Nelson 3. FG 22, FT 5-9, F 7. (3-pointers: Haring, Ma. Stock 2, Mo. Stock. Fouled out: none)

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