The Cor Jesu Chargers scored 23 points in their last 16 minutes of play against the Villa Duchesne Saints, winning 51-24.
Veteran coach John Neff got his team more cohesive in the stretch run, and playing a lot more organized give and go basketball.
“I really didn’t know at the beginning of the season if we would win 16 games, but the kids really started coming together. We lost our first three games of the season, then got to 3 and 3.” said Neff.
“The second half we showed what we are capable of doing,” he said.
One who listens is senior guard Chaley Poth. Averaging 15.1 points per game, she fired in a team-high 17. One came on a nifty no look pass on the baseline as she swung in and knocked one home off the glass. That was her 15th point of the game, and with the lead of 41-24, the win looked very well secured.
Cor Jesu got off to a fast start, leading 12-5 in the early going. They built a 10-point lead (18-8) before Villa coach Jane Ellen Kuenzle signaled time out.
“We were a little more patient on offense. We started to reverse the ball well, and we got some points that way,” said Neff.
Statistically, the Chargers had a good performance. They pulled down 27 rebounds; had 10 assists; 11 steals and turned the ball over 13 times.
Districts are just around the corner. Cor Jesu is in with the big schools, Mehlville, Oakville, Webster Groves and Ursuline. But first, they have a home game with Nerinx Hall next Thursday.
Kuenzle was searching for answers after it was over.
“In the third quarter, we just weren’t shooting the ball at all. Little Grace (Lombardo) took two-three pointers and didn’t make them. If we do, we’re in the game,” said Kunzle.
“I don’t think either team looked at the scoreboard (in the third quarter) and thought this was over.
Our kids were playing hard at the end. If you don’t play hard, you won’t get any better,” reasoned the coach. No one broke double figures for Villa.
Villa has a tough district with the likes of MICDS, Westminster and Visitation Academy to battle with.
Cor Jesu lifted its record to 16-7, Villa tumbled to 7-13.