Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The St. John’s Lady Cavaliers are playing good basketball at the best time of the year – at Christmas.
The young Lady Cavs improved to 4-3 with wins over Faith Christian and Cathedral Academy during play this week before being outsized in a loss to Newberry Academy.
In the 58-37 loss to Newberry, the Lady Cavaliers did not have an answer for the much larger Eagles.
Newberry jumped out to a 20-11 first quarter lead before the Lady Cavaliers battled back to close the gap to a 29-22 first half deficit.
The Lady Cavs relied on their one-two punch in Amber Lewis and Mecca Murphy.
“Our size down low was our big disadvantage,” said Coach Christ Pouyat. “We were outmatched. We got in early foul trouble, which hurt us for the entire game.
“We were down quick by close to 20 points midway through the second quarter. We went on a little run cutting the deficit to six at the half. Unfortunately we were not able to keep up with rebounding and boxing out which are a big part of the game.”
Amber Lewis led the Lady Cavs with 22 points and Mecca Murphy added 13.
In the Lady Cavs’ first tough region test against Faith Christian, SJCA came out firing to jump out to a 23-12 first quarter lead and a 35-21 lead at the half that would carry them to the win.
“We won with our heart and hustle,” Pouyat said. “We had something to prove after losing to Patrick Henry the week prior and I think we did.”
Pouyat called the Lady Cavs’ first tilt with Faith Christian a good test. The two Region 3 powers face off again on Jan. 21.
Lewis had 26 points against Faith Christian, hitting five three-pointers. Murphy added 18 points with five assists.
Claire Gilmore had a great defensive night, Pouyat said, with a block, two steals, two assists and three points.
“One of our current challenges is learning how to play with a lead,” Pouyat said. “In our past two games we had 16-plus point leads at different moments throughout the game and couldn’t figure out how to control the speed of play and how to control the clock.”
The Lady Cavs continued their domination in the 37-25 win over Cathedral Academy. A 12-1 second quarter put SJCA on top 22-9 at the half.
“We also have to learn how to take care of the ball in these moments,” the Lady Cavs Coach said. “This is something new for us, usually we are the team trying to catch up trying to take the lead not the ones trying to hold on. This comes with time and maturity,”
Murphy again led St. John’s with 17 points with Dori Kelly chipping in eight points in the winning effort.
Claire Gilmore had five points, Hayley Singletary four and Amber Lewis three.
With the Christmas break coming up, SJCA is 2-0 in Region 3 action and 3-2 overall.