LIMA – Delphos St. John’s pushed its offense into high gear early and never hit a lull.
The Blue Jays dropped 3-pointers in the first half, then found the seams inside the Lima Central Catholic 2-3 zone in the second half.
St. John’s shot 52 percent from the field to pull away from LCC 67-53 in a girls basketball game Monday at Herr Gymnasium.
St. John’s shot 50 percent (9 of 18) on 3-pointers, mostly over the LCC zone.
St. John’s is 2-1, while LCC is 1-2.
“It was tough to stop them,” LCC coach Ron Williams said. “In all three of our games, our opponents have shot 50 percent or better and that has a lot to do with our defense.’’
Leading the way for the Blue Jays was 5-foot-9 senior Aubrie Friemoth, who shot 6 of 10 on 3-pointers for 18 points.
“She shoots it all day like that,” St. John’s coach Nate Stant said.
St. John’s Hannah Will scored 15 points, mostly from the paint in the 7-to-10 foot range.
Melanie Koenig had 11 points and six rebounds.
St. John’s point guard Paige Gaynier had 13 points and 10 rebounds. She scored eight points in the final quarter.
“The best thing tonight was the way we shot it in the paint,” Stant said. “We’ve been shooting well from three all year. … The girls moved the basketball so well tonight. They got the zone moving and attacked the paint from there. It was good to see Hannah (Will) have a great game in the paint.’’
For LCC, Rosie Williams came in averaging 16 points and 15 rebounds. And even though Williams rolled her ankle around Thanksgiving, she delivered 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Mary Kelly Mulcahy added 13 points and four 3-pointers.
Freshman Olivia Stolly scored nine points and was 7 of 8 at the foul line. Sophia Santaguida had six points and six rebounds.
LCC won the boards, 34-30.
St. John’s forced 14 LCC turnovers with its 1-2-2 press.
“The press got us going tonight for sure,” Stant said. “Hannah (Will) has contributed so much to us at the top of that press.’’
The game was tied at 9 after the first quarter.
The Blue Jays sank 5 of 11 on 3-pointers in the first half, including hitting 4 of 5 in the second quarter.
That helped St. John’s pull out to a 28-24 halftime lead.
“They had such good movement against our zone,” Williams said. “They ran some nice zone sets and they gave us trouble with them.’’
Stolly got the T-Birds rolling again with two foul shots, then a quick steal and a 15-footer.
That tied the game at 23.
Friemoth sank her third 3-pointer of the first half to give the Blue Jays a 26-23 lead with 44 seconds left in the first half.
Mulcahy’s 3-pointer cut the Blue Jays’ lead to 32-30 with 6:10 left in the third quarter.
The Blue Jays countered with a 14-5 run to pull out to a 46-35 lead after three.
During that run, Koenig hit a 7-footer and a putback.
And Friemuth buried two 3-pointers.
Williams scored 10 points in the final quarter to keep the T-Birds within 10-to-12.
Williams’ layup cut the St. John’s lead to 56-46 with 2:59 to go.
But once again Friemuth sank a 3-pointer and the Blue Jays’ lead was back to 13, 59-46, with 2:46 to go.
“We just have to get our defense straightened out,” Williams said. “We’re giving up too many points.’’