It took twenty games, but the Ste. Genevieve girls varsity basketball team has finally tasted defeat. Playing in the MAAA Conference Tournament semifinals, the Dragons couldn’t get anything working as the North County Raiders dominated play, defeating Ste. Genevieve, 52-34. The Dragons are now 19-1, while the Raiders improved to 16-4.
There was no doubt the Raiders were ready for this game, but Ste. Gen also showed they were ready for battle early. Megan Aubuchon made the first basket of the game just 12 seconds in, but the Raiders would score the next five points. Both defenses were playing very well and aggressively. The game had all the makings of a heavyweight bout, as every time the Raiders would score, the Dragons would come right back with a counter punch. For instance, after North County hit a three pointer with 3:13 left in the first quarter to take a 10-6 lead, seven seconds later, Aubuchon hit a fast break layup after Ste. Gen pushed the ball up the floor. It happened again at the 2:26 mark. North County hit a bucket, but it took six seconds for Aubuchon to hit another fast break basket to make it 12-10. It happened the next scoring possession as well when, with 1:37 to go, North County made it 14-10, but Marysa Flieg took a terrific pass from Maci Reynolds nine seconds later for a quick basket to pull within two points again.
But in the final 1:13, the Raiders hit a basket and two three pointers, including one at the buzzer, and Ste. Gen found themselves down 22-12, and in a heap of trouble.
Shots were not falling, and North County was beating the Dragons on the boards. SGHS could manage just two points in the second quarter, and another late three pointer at the end of quarter put the Raiders on top at halftime, 30-14.
Nothing much changed in the third quarter. Ste. Genevieve was playing its usual tough defense, but the offense couldn’t generate anything. Open shots weren’t falling, inside…outside…it didn’t really matter. Both teams only scored six points in the quarter, so with only eight minutes remaining, it’s hard for any team to be able to make up 16 points against a quality team like North County.
Ste. Gen would only hit 26 percent from the field, and would be out-rebounded 49-23 on the night. Leading scorers for the Dragons were Ella Reed and Aubuchon with eight points apiece. Reed would also grab five rebounds. Reynolds netted seven points. She added eight assists, and five steals. Flieg also scored seven points, while Abby Moore and Sydney Bumgardaner chipped in with two points each. Moore led the team with eight rebounds, and Bumgardaner blocked four shots.
So the #1 seed Dragons will play Farmington for third place on Saturday. The game will start at 4:00 p.m. at Mineral Area College. North County and Central will meet for the tournament title later that night.