Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team knew how important Saturday’s game with McPherson College was for its coach.
Katelyn Loecker was returning home after a fabulous career where she led McPherson High to the 2012 Class 4A state championship and was a two-time Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year before playing four years at Oklahoma State. Her family and numerous friends were in attendance at the Sport Center.
The Spires, who came into the game with just one KCAC win, played inspired for their coach as they upset McPherson College, 57-46.
The Bulldogs fell to 3-7 in the KCAC after having upset Bethany on Wednesday. Saint Mary improved to 2-7 in the KCAC, 3-9 overall.
It was a terribly disappointing loss for the Bulldogs in their final KCAC game of December, though they play Tuesday at Haskell. Mac is now 8-7 overall.
“Even though we held them to 57, our effort for the entire shot clock on defense was pretty poor,” Mac coach Josh Nichols said. “Especially we gave up too many offensive rebounds, especially late in the shot clock. We gave up a layup at the shot clock buzzer as well. I just didn’t think we played defense well enough to win the game.”
The Bulldogs have to play well defensively as their offensive end has been a season-long struggle, especially with leading scorer Sonerka White now out for the year with a knee injury. They were just 16 of 58, 6 of 23 from 3-point and again had trouble at the foul line by making 8 of 15.
Elle Gillen was the bright spot for Mac with 14 points off the bench, making 4 of 9 from 3-point. Sienna Brown led Saint Mary with 14 and Rachel Newquist pulled down 12 rebounds as Saint Mary pounded the glass for a 43-29 advantage.
The Bulldogs actually were up 27-23 at the half, but a 6-0 Spire run at the end of the third quarter broke a 39-all tie, then Mac scored a minuscule 7 points in the fourth quarter.
Loecker said she was excited for the win. She said at age 23, she is adjusting to being perhaps the youngest women’s coach in the country and that her team has done a lot of good things, except for putting more wins into the column.
Mac (46) — Holt 3, Roberts 6, Tims 5, Raimondi 9, DeLuca 5, Potter 2, Gillen 14, Branscum 2.
Saint Mary (57) — Scheckel 6, Brown 14, Cassady 13, Massoth 2, Schamberger 10, Beeler 6, Newquist 2, Corle 4.
• SAINT MARY MEN 95, MAC 81 — Stop if you’ve heard this before.
The Bulldog men got off to a slow start.
That seems to be the theme for the Bulldogs, as Saint Mary stunned them by making 15 of their first 18 shots, which included 8 of 9 from 3-point, to build a 43-18 lead before the Bulldogs pulled within 55-37 by the half.
Mac came out strong in the second half, getting as close as 7, but Saint Mary put it away by making 4 late 3-pointers.
"It reminded me a lot of the Tabor game (when Mac got down 29 and rallied within 3)," Bulldog coach Tim Swatzendruber said. “I told the guys, ‘we’re going to be fine, they’re not going to shoot that well in the second half.’ I felt like we had many opportunities in the second half. We chipped away and did what we wanted to do, but couldn’t sustain it.”
For the game, the Spires were 31 of 54 from the field, a jaw-dropping 14 of 24 from 3-point. Treyvon Lundy led Saint Mary with 22.
Mac shot 48 percent for the game, but turned it over 18 times. The Bulldogs, losing their fifth straight, again played without starting point guard Dorian Paige, who is the unquestioned glue player for Mac. It also played without key guard Garrett Owen, who has provided firepower off the bench. Both players are out with injuries.
Grant Munsen led the Bulldogs with 14 points. Taylor Ellison had his best game of the year with 13, Fred Watts tallied 12 and Josh Rivers added 10, along with 7 assists.
Mac, 3-7 in the KCAC and 6-8 overall, reaches the halfway point of the schedule on Tuesday at Haskell.
Mac (81) — Munsen 14, Gurley 8, Barideaux 9, Rivera 10, Oxford 4, Magot 6, Watts 12, Ellison 13, Hightower 5.
Saint Mary (95) — Hailey 18, Lundy 22, Rucker 6, Howard 17, Killeen 8, Southern 8, Sims 4, Robinson 12.
Little River, 4-2
Smoky Valley, 3-2
Elyria Christian, 3-3
• GIRLS •
Little River, 3-3
Smoky Valley, 0-5
Elyria Christian, 0-6
• FRIDAY FRIENDS AND FUN •
Del Ray, 30-12
Dilly Dilly, 24-18
All In The Family, 24-18
CL Crew, 24-18
No Lane, No Gain, 18-24
Big Bootie, 18-24
Rambling Rollers, 3-39
Here for Beer, 6-0
• Women’s High Games •
1. Mayan Groote, 189
2. Starla Gesaman, 168
3. Chelsi (no last name reported), 165
• Women’s High Series •
1. Maysan Groote, 523
2. Starla Gesaman, 426
3. Diana Groote, 400
• Men’s High Games •
1. Shorty Miller, 246
2. Phil Huff, 215
3. Tim Groote, 204
• Men’s High Series •
1. Shorty Miller, 684
2. Philip Huff, 589
3. Tim Groote, 532
Tony Romero learned a lot about the character of his Central Christian College men’s basketball team.
• MEN •
Oklahoma Wesleyan, 9-0 (14-0)
Southwestern, 8-1 (12-1)
Friends, 6-3 (8-4)
Ottawa, 6-3 (9-6)
LINDSBORG — After a surprising loss to second-division McPherson College on Wednesday, Bethany College’s women bounced
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The emotion tonight should be palpable.
It’s going to be a feel-good night at the Roundhouse when McPherson High entertains Winfield in a basketball twinbill.
The games themselves will be secondary. It’s a night of celebration as 12 deserved members... Read More
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