2018-02-22 / Sports

Defense dominant as St. Mary extends streak

Senior leaders shine as Eagles beat Academy, homeschoolers


ST. MARY center Lindsey Fleis (31) swats a shot Monday in a matchup against the Traverse City Bulldogs. 
Photo: Dan Duffiney ST. MARY center Lindsey Fleis (31) swats a shot Monday in a matchup against the Traverse City Bulldogs. Photo: Dan Duffiney The Lake Leelanau St. Mary girls may only fly as far as their defensive prowess takes them — but coach Pete Finch is just fine with that.

“We know how to play defense,” Finch said, “and when we do, good things happen.”

Good things continued to happen in Lake Leelanau last week as St. Mary registered its fourth and fifth straight wins. Senior guard Hanna Grant stayed hot last Thursday as the Eagles dispatched Grand Traverse Academy 37-29 and again on Monday in a 67-34 win over the Traverse City Bulldogs.

Monday was all about the seniors.

“It was senior night,” Finch said. “We started all seniors — and started out on a 12-0 run with people who don’t normally start.

“We had no dropoff.”

The Eagles (13-2) attacked unselfishly from all angles and, as a result, 10 players scored. The scoresheet showed 16 points from Grant, 12 points from Alyssa Davis, 10 from Lexi Schaub and eight from Lindsey Fleis.

The homeschoolers made a second -quarter run, Finch said, but the Eagles dashed any comeback hopes with 22 points in the third quarter.

The scoreboard operator had an easier go last Thursday in the lows-coring affair with Grand Traverse Academy.

“GTA knows us and scouts us very well and has a young group of girls that came out ready to play,” said Finch, whose team led 23-22 at the break. “They had a nice gameplan and played with a lot of energy.”

Defensive adjustments allowed the Eagles to pull away. The Mustangs scored just seven second-half points on two field goals and three free throws.

Grant poured in a game-high 14 points and added four steals. Schaub recorded six points, four steals, four boards and four assists. Nicole Wittman chipped in with six points, four steals, four rebounds and two assists.

“That was a very good win by the girls,” Finch said.

Next up for St. Mary is the regular-season finale tonight at Ellsworth.

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