PERU — Eureka’s defensive pressure in the second quarter hit the St. Bede Lady Bruins like an Arctic blast on a cold winter night.
The Hornets turned a low-scoring, one-point game at the end of the first quarter into a 20-10 halftime lead. Eureka carried that surge over into the second half to defeat the Lady Bruins 43-25 to claim third place of the Lady Bruins Christmas Classic.
“We had too many turnovers,” St. Bede coach Tom McGunnigal said. “Their pressure got to us. We told the girls we have to communicate better. We’ve been talking about communication on both ends of the floor. We have to be able to communicate to calm people and get people into place. That’s where we rely on senior leadership to come through, especially with the younger girls out there facing much bigger girls than they’ve seen.”
Raley Mauck hit a three-pointer to give the Lady Bruins a 3-2 lead after one quarter of play.
Then the Lady Hornets turned up the defensive pressure, forcing numerous turnovers for St. Bede, which was playing without senior point guard Laura Sickley, among others over Christmas break.
“We had too many easy turnovers, and it led to easy baskets,” McGunnigal said.
Ashlyn Lockart had eight points and Josie Hodel seven to lead Eureka’s 18-7 second-quarter surge. Mauck hit another three-pointer, but St. Bede managed only field goals by sophomore Zoe Postula and senior Lexie Miranda to go with in a seven-point quarter.
Eureka hit 7 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter, outscoring St. Bede 11-8 over the final eight minutes of play.
Hodel (11) and Lockart (9) combined for 20 points for Eureka. Eureka coach Jerry Prina told his team it was a big win to defeat the Lady Bruins on their home court.
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