The game was characterized by fouls, turnovers, fouls and missed offensive opportunities.
One key difference to the game was free-throw shooting. St. Paul (7-4, 5-2) shot 19-of-26 from the charity stripe, while the Trojans (6-5, 4-2) shot just 10-of-19.
It was a night most coaches would probably like to forget, but not Lady Flyers coach Vicky Mahl.
“You got to be proud of them for what they did,” Mahl said. “I’m proud of the girls. They didn’t quit. We came in here, it’s never an easy place to win at South Central, and they did what they had to do — and I’m proud of them.”
Mahl also credited both teams’ defensive play as to why the game was low-scoring and full of turnovers.
“It wasn’t exactly a high-scoring game, so you credit some defense,” she said. “When you force turnovers, granted some of those turnovers were our own fault, but I think some of theirs were the same way. It’s a matter of no matter what happens you just got to keep playing, and that’s what we did.”
South Central coach John Vogel also gave credit to St. Paul for sticking out a rough night. He also said turnovers and a lack of rebounding by his team contributed to the loss.
“First, I want to congratulate Vicky and her girls. They came in the gym and they played really hard basketball,” Vogel said. “On our side of the floor, we prepared hard. We just came in and turned the ball over too much, and we didn’t rebound particularly well.
“I was disappointed in how we rebounded for the game,” he added. “We got a few injuries, but that’s no excuse. You still got to box out.”
Freshman Danielle Smith led the Flyers in scoring with 11 points. Fellow freshman Morgan Baxter finished second on the team with eight points, all at the free-throw line.
Maddie Albert led the Trojans offense with 13 points, with Lily Antonio finishing behind with seven.
St. Paul started off hot in the first quarter, jumping to a 10-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game. They finished the quarter leading 14-6.
The Trojans fought their way back into the game in the second quarter. They scored the first six points of the quarter to cut the lead to 14-12. Both teams traded baskets until the Trojans tied the game at 19 with under 20 seconds until halftime. A pair of free throws by Smith with three seconds left gave St. Paul a 21-19 lead going into halftime.
The third quarter was the lowest scoring quarter of the game, as both teams combined for just nine points. There was a stretch of almost five minutes where no points were scored. The Lady Flyers clung to a 25-24 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Trojans scored the first basket of the quarter to take a one-point lead. Then the Flyers scored the next five points, all from the free-throw line, to take a 30-26 lead. St. Paul went into the final minute of the game up 33-28.
After both teams exchanged some free throws, the Lady Flyers led 36-30 with seven seconds to go. Albert hit a 3-pointer with seven seconds left to cut the Flyers lead to 36-33. The Trojans fouled on the next possession, but Baxter sealed the game by making both free throws to end the game with a 38-33 victory.
St. Paul’s next game will be Saturday at Plymouth. The Trojans will be playing a makeup game at Mapleton on Thursday.