Stevenson pulls away from St. Viator
After winning the Class 4A state title last year, there are a lot of new faces in the lineup for the Stevenson girls basketball team this season.
But the new-look Patriots were impressive again Wednesday night as they built a commanding 45-28 lead over visiting St. Viator heading into the fourth quarter of this nonconference game.
From there, Stevenson (8-5) rolled to 55-34 victory over the Lions as junior Emory Klatt scored 16 of her 22 points in the first half to set the tone for the Patriots' offense.
St. Viator (4-8) got off to a slow start offensively, trailing 14-4 after one quarter before it outscored Stevenson 17-16 in the second quarter to cut the lead to 30-21 at halftime.
But the Patriots came out firing on all cylinders in the second half as a basket off a turnover by sophomore Nisha Musunuri capped a 9-point run to give Stevenson its biggest lead of the game at 39-21 with 4:05 remaining in the third quarter.
"It's no secret obviously as teams have started to scout us and know what we return that we have a really strong presence inside, and I'm just really proud of our kids execution and patience," said Stevenson coach Ashley Graham, whose team outscored St. Viator 15-7 in the third quarter. "I thought our second-half defense was much more inspired so that was really good to see."
Klatt was able to get many high-percentage shots from close range while Musunuri and senior teammate Kate Arne were also big contributors on the offensive end of the floor with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
"The offense was really good. The first half we had to adjust to their zone," said Klatt, whose team is playing in the Dundee-Crown holiday tournament next week. "At halftime coach Graham told us we had to step up the defense in the second half and we were lacking communication in the first half."
Junior Mia Bergstrom and sophomore teammate Allia von Schlegell led the Lions with 9 points apiece. But St. Viator's offense really struggled with only 13 points overall in the second half.
"We're inexperienced, and with that inexperience we're struggling to run our team offense," said St. Viator coach Jason Raymond. "And I think because of that, it is affecting us at the other end of the floor as well. Most games we play we're outsized. They've got state finals experience on that team, and they're very well coached."