Cleveland Heights, OH- St. Vincent St. Mary had a unique opportunity to host the Ohio vs. Ontario classic this past weekend. There was no hangover effect as the Irish handle business vs. the Lutheran East Falcons in a lopsided affair.
St. Vincent St. Mary was trying to build on their early season success after a disappointing district exit in the playoffs last season. Couple that with a lot of roster turnover, including 3 transfers from arch rival Hoban, and it is easy to understand why SVSM plays with a lot of passion and intensity. The Irish are out to prove they can go all the way to Dayton.
This one was never really close as SVSM jumped out to a 16-0 lead before a frustrated Falcons coach called timeout. The Irish never looked back after that. SVSM used suffocating on ball defense, and a fast pace to lead them to a 38-9 lead at the half including 11 from senior guard Jazmin Torres. I asked 9 year SVSM coach Carley Whitney about the team’s defensive effort tonight.
“That’s what we do. We’re going to play on ball defense, we’re going to deny passing lanes, and we’re going to shift them in and out. I don’t expect perfection, but I expect intensity”.
The Falcons who are a less experienced team were left searching for answers.
To the Falcons credit, they came out of the locker room with more aggressiveness and began to get in the paint with ease. They opened up the 3rd quarter with a 4-0 run. SVSM called a timeout as 9 year SVSM coach Carley Whitney noticed her team was a little sluggish and urged them to not look at the scoreboard. “Play for each other. Use those moments to build chemistry with your teammates”.
The Irish picked it up after that timeout and fed off some missed shots by the Falcons to cruise to a 60-21 road victory for their 4th win on the season. Jazmin Torres was the leading scorer with 13. Laila Fleetwood added 7, and Dyllan Metcalf 6 big second half points to get SVSM back on track. They head home to face Toledo Rogers this Saturday. Meanwhile, Lutheran East is headed back to the drawing board. Still searching for their first win of the season, the Falcons will head to Eastlake to face North on Monday.
I talked with SVSM coach Carley Whitney after the game.
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