Girls basketball: St. Marys rolls against Wapakoneta

ST. MARYS — St. Marys opened this basketball season with back-to-back losses.

Due to the postseason success of both the soccer team and volleyball team this fall, several of St. Marys’ basketball players got a late start.

St. Marys girls head basketball coach Jon Burke was forced to play catch-up.

However, after St. Marys’ convincing 47-18 win over visiting Wapakoneta Thursday night in a Western Buckeye League matchup, it looks like the Roughriders are beginning to find their rhythm.

After an 0-2 start, St. Marys (7-2, 3-0 WBL) has now reeled off seven consecutive wins.

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Reese Rable led St. Marys Thursday night with 13 points, including four 3-pointers. Cora Rable had 10 points, including two 3-pointers. Morgan Hesse had eight points, eight boards, three steals and two assists. Ella Jacobs came away with eight boards and four steals to go along with five points. Reagan Allemeier added six points and two steals for the Roughriders.

“I think the second quarter got out of control,” Burke said. “(It was) a little bit too fast. We wanted to slow it down. We like to get out in transition, but we also want to take control of the ball and get good looks.

“We did a much better job of that in the second half. Defensively, I thought we were all over the board. We had nice close-outs. … We had good ball pressure; and ultimately, took control of the ball in the second half. … That’s probably what allowed us to pull away.”

Kortney Fullenkamp led Wapakoneta (2-6, 1-2 WBL) with 12 points and six boards.

Wapakoneta had just three players break into the scoring column Thursday night.

“Our players did a nice job in finding their shooters, closing out on them and trying to take away what they were trying to do,” Burke said.

Early on, both teams struggled at the offensive end.

Then, St. Marys found its range.

St. Marys managed to pull away for an 18-4 lead by the end of the first quarter.

After starting the contest, 1 of 6 shooting from the field, the Roughriders ended the first stanza 5 of 11 from the field, while the Redskins were just 2 of 11 from the floor in the first eight minutes of action. St. Marys also got to the free throw line in the first quarter, connecting on 5 of 6 of those charity tosses. Allemeier led the Roughriders with five first-quarter points, including a 3-pointer.

However, the Roughriders went cold from the field in the second quarter, connecting on just 1 of 8 shots.

St. Marys slipped into the halftime break with a 20-11 lead.

Fullenkamp scored all of Wapakoneta’s first-half points, on 5 of 6 shooting from the floor. The 5-foot-10 sophomore forward also came away with four rebounds in the first 16 minutes.

Hesse led St. Marys in the first half with six points.

The Roughriders began to heat up in the second half.

St. Marys connected four times behind the 3-point line in the third, en route to a 37-14 lead at the third stop.

Reese Rable had two 3-pointers in the third period for St. Marys.

For the game, St. Marys shot 37 percent from the field. Wapakoneta connected on just 19 percent of its field goal attempts.

Wapakoneta committed 15 turnovers on the night, while St. Marys turned it over 18 times.

The Roughriders controlled the boards, 35-23.

“We have to remember to take it one possession at a time,” Burke said. “There are going to be times when it is out of control, and we are not on the same page. I think Cora Rable does a nice job of quarterbacking our team and getting us back under control. When we get the ball inside, that’s good for Morgan Hesse and it’s good for the 3-point shooters.”

Burke said it has been a work in progress this season.

“We haven’t been playing very long together. So, just getting organized and getting everyone into their roles – we weren’t there yet. A lot of that seven-game winning streak has been at home, while we’re shooting well. We will need to continue to get the ball into the post, and keep shooting well from the outside.”

Mark Altstaetter wrote this story for Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.