Notre Dame girls basketball team claims third in Holiday Classic

Sunday, December 23, 2012
Notre Dame’s Karsen Powers drives down the court during the Bulldogs’ 52-35 win over the Jackson in the third-place game of the Kelso Supply Holiday Classic on Saturday at the Show Me Center. (ADAM VOGLER)

Jackson coach Tyler Abernathy knew what was happening. He was just powerless to stop it.

The Notre Dame girls erupted with their patented quick scoring runs of 9-0 and 6-0 in the third quarter to break open a close contest and cruise to a 52-35 victory in the third-place game of the Kelso Supply Holiday Classic on Saturday at the Show Me Center.

The Bulldogs (7-2), who never got their transition game going in a semifinal loss Thursday to Saxony Lutheran, quickly established control in the second half to defeat the Indians for the third time this season.

"It's hard to play the same team three times in a year -- in a month," Bulldogs coach Renee Peters said. "Hats off to [Jackson]. It was a good game."

"We were much more calm and relaxed that game," said junior point guard Karsen Powers. "We played our game instead of playing the other team's game."

Notre Dame’s Miranda Fowler fights with Jackson’s Kayla Keith for control of the ball.

Notre Dame led 25-23 early in the third period, but the Bulldogs were just heating up. Junior Annie Siebert came up with a pair of steals, converting the second into a layup to put Notre Dame up 27-21. It was the start of a 15-1 run that put the game out of reach.

"Those [scoring] runs, that's what gets us going," Siebert said. "It keeps us going. Defense leads our offense."

Notre Dame outscored Jackson 18-6 in the period and left Abernathy scratching his head.

"We played them point for point except for about a little four-minute stretch there in the third quarter," he said. "That's something we've got to work on. It seem at times the pressure gets to us, and we get a little tired, our head goes down, and we turn the ball over too much. We allowed them to go on a (9-0) run there and we really got behind the eight ball.

"They live and die on those runs. We talked about it before the game: We couldn't let them go on any. And we did a good job in the first half of [stopping] those runs, and then they went on a big one in the third quarter, and it was just too much for us to overcome."

It's something Notre Dame's entire team feeds on.

"That was the difference," Peters said. "We were up by two at the half, and then we came out in the third quarter and went on a little (9-0) run or something like that. And for some reason my team needs that, and we build from that."

It also got two of the Bulldogs' key players -- senior forward Miranda Fowler and junior forward Kaitlin Welter -- into the game. Neither scored in the first half.

"I made a point in the locker room," Peters said. "I said, 'We need you to score.' And they came out and they both hit shots on that run, and we were penetrating more and attacking it more."

Notre Dame also benefitted from Siebert's all-around performance. The junior guard had a game-high 15 points and three steals.

"I knew I did not play my best in our game against Saxony," Siebert said. "I just really wanted to redeem myself before we got into [the holiday break]. I just wanted to leave it on a good note."

"She got those couple quick fouls in the first quarter and she knew we needed her in the game," Peters said. "[Against Saxony] she got into foul trouble, and we struggled until she got back in the game. She's matured a lot this year as a player. She's got a lot of natural ability. When she penetrates and takes it to them, it's hard to stop her. She's quick. She can hit from the outside, she can score on the inside. She's slowly becoming one of our leaders on the court."

Despite losing for the third time this season to the Bulldogs, Abernathy found some positives his Indians can build on.

"Obviously we turned the ball over too much [21 turnovers] but I thought we did some things better than the last time we played them and we're continuing to improve," he said. "The girls are working hard, and we're going to have to continue to take things one practice at a time, one game at a time.

"Our goal -- as I told them in the locker room -- is to make sure that we are better at the end of the year. And as long as we continue to stay positive and work to get better, we've got the ability to do some things."

Rachel Crites led Jackson (5-6) with 11 points.

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JACKSON (35) -- Cassidi Tomsu 6, Rachel Crites 11, Emily Davidson 4, Michaela Binns 1, Emily Gartman 2, Danielle Daume 5, Megan Williams 4, Kayla Keith 2. FG: 15, FT: 1-6, F: 15. (3-pointers: Crites 3, Daume 1. Fouled out: none.)

NOTRE DAME (52) -- Miranda Fowler 8, Annie Siebert 15, Halle Lynch 8, Karsen Powers 7, Shelby Beussink 5, Kaitlin Welter 9. FG: 20, FT: 9-15, F: 14. (3-pointers: Siebert 1, Powers 1, Welter 1. Fouled out: none.)

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