St. Francis tops St. Edward in battle of youthful rosters

It was apparent that both St. Francis and St. Edward have youthful teams during the starting lineup introductions before Tuesday's game in Elgin between the Metro Suburban League rivals.

Seven of the 10 players on the court at tipoff were underclassmen with only one senior. A scan of both varsity rosters showed a total of four seniors.

The Spartans prevailed 57-27 in the crossover game.

"We lost three seniors from last year, so we are still finding our way. I think everyone has stepped up at different times," said St. Francis coach Jeff Gerdeman. "We were at Montini for Christmas, and we had four different players of the game. With different people taking the lead every game, it's hard for people to scout and hard for people to attack us."

Leading 12-6 after the first eight minutes, St. Francis (11-5) put the game away with a 25-point second quarter for a 37-12 halftime lead. Leann Ringsrud, one of only two Spartans seniors, and sophomore Tea Rubino sank eight of the team's 10 baskets in the period; Ringsrud (12 points) canned five buckets. Rubino scored 10 of her game-high 16 points in the period including three free throws.

"We are young but so is St. Eds and they always play hard. We just had a very nice second quarter. I think that was the key," Gerdeman said. "We just have to recognize whose night it is and give them the ball. And tonight, that was Leann."

"It was just one of those days where I was able to pull through," Ringsrud said.

The senior thinks the team's makeup is a plus.

"The girls have really come together," said Ringsrud. "Having different levels has really helped us bond as a team."

"We are trying to focus on fundamentals and building on those from practice to game. Right now it's just consistency with young players," said St. Edward coach Michelle Dawson. "Finding that level of consistency and prepare them for when they are out on the court. We need also need to work on our communication during the game and playing as one team."

The Green Wave varsity roster lists two seniors, two juniors, five sophomores and two freshmen.

Sophomore Maggie Jarzemsky and freshman Jordin Sauls are emerging as team leaders, according to Dawson.

"Jarzemsky and Sauls have been really stepping up and playing strong basketball," the St. Edward coach said.

"I always just go over the last couple of possessions we had and try to figure out what was working for us and seeing if that comes up again so we can repeat it," Sauls said.

The freshman led the effort to get St. Edward (4-13) back into the game during the third quarter. She scored 11 of her team-high 13 points in the period as St. Edward rallied and outscored St. Francis 13-7 but still trailed 44-25 to start the fourth quarter. Sauls also pulled down seven rebounds.

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