Brandywine falls to St. JosephPublished 10:50pm Monday, January 30, 2012
ST. JOSEPH — It was a classic confrontation between a pair of ranked girls basketball teams Monday night at St. Joseph High School.
Class C’s top-ranked Brandywine Bobcats couldn’t hold against Class B’s No. 4-rated St. Joseph Bears in a battle of unbeaten.
The Bears used a 23-point third quarter to erase a 12-point first half Bobcats’ advantage and then held on for a 50-44 victory in front a large crowd.
Brandywine (13-1) was the aggressor in the opening 16 minutes of play and that translated into a 12-point advantage with 5:13 remaining in the first half on a basket by Bobcat senior Carlie Newman.
Trailing 22-10, St. Joseph (13-0) started cutting into the lead. Lindsay Peirce made it a 10-point advantage with 3:52 to play and Christina Valentine’s buck with 21.4 seconds left made it a seven-point contest, 24-17.
Newman would hit a pair of free throws with less than a second to play in the half to extended the Bobcats’ advantage back to nine points, 26-17.
Valentine, who opened the game on the bench, started the second half the St. Joseph and she “triggered” the Bears’ comeback effort in the third quarter.
Valentine had eight of her team-high 13 points in the period as St. Joseph turned a nine-point deficit into a five-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Valentine’s basket with 4:49 remaining in the third quarter made it a 30-28 contest and her basket 14 seconds later knotted the game at 30.
Valentine put St. Joseph in the lead for good with a basket with 3:28 remaining in the period.
“She had a nice spurt for us defensively and on the boards in the second quarter and we just decided to run with it and see what happens,” St. Joseph coach Jeff Wallace said. “She plays a ton of minutes for us anyway. We’ve told our girls all year we feel like we have six starters.
“I thought Valentine really triggered what we wanted to do off the press. She enabled to get some turnovers. She got a couple of tough boards during that stretch. We like to run, and when you get turnovers and rebounds you are able to do it. When you don’t, you look slow and I thought we looked slow in the first half.”
Valentine was anything but a one-woman show in the third quarter. Erika Priebe scored all eight of her points during the pivotal period and sister LeAnne Priebe chipped in with four points.
With a 40-35 advantage in hand, St. Joseph began to take the air out of the ball and run some clock.
Brandywine was able to forced some turnovers and fouled the Bears repeatedly in the final eight minutes, but could not overcome the deficit.
The closest the Bobcats would get was 48-44 with 1:01 remaining on a basket by Madison Pellow.
While never happy with a loss, Brandywine coach Josh Hood said there are plenty of positives to take away from a game like this.
“We talked at halftime,” he said. “They are a great team for a reason. We knew they were going to make a run. I told the girls this is a reminder of last year’s game. I told the girls they dominated us at home in the first half and then we fought back in the second half because of our home crowd and the atmosphere. Tonight we talked tonight at halftime that they were going to be charged in the second half, that they weren’t going to be content with being down nine at the half.
“I just told the girls after the game that I don’t want them to ever be content with losing, but there’s a lot of positive that come out of this game tonight. St. Joe is one heckuva team and one of the best teams in the state for a reason. We can take a lot out of this.”
Newman scored a game-high 21 points for the Bobcats, of which 16 of them came in the first half. Mackenzie Shelton finished with 10 points and Madison Pellow eight.
LeAnne Prieb also had 13 points for the Bears, who got 11 points from Jaz Williams.
The Bobcats jump back into Lakeland Conference action Thursday night as they hit the road to face Bridgman.
Carlie Newman 8 4-5 21; Rachael Ort 0 0-0 0; Mackenzie Shelton 4 0-1 10; Tia Hullinger 0 0-0 0; Victoria Knight 0 0-0 0; Brooke Smith 2 0-3 5; Mikayla Kemp 0 0-0 0; Madison Pellow 4 0-1 8. TOTALS: 18 4-10 44
ST. JOSEPH 50
Christina Valentine 6 0-3 13; Erika Priebe 3 2-3 8; LeAnne Priebe 3 4-8 13; Lindsay Peirce 1 0-0 2; Sam Taylor 0 1-2 1; Lauren Brower 1 0-0 2; Jaz Williams 4 2-4 11. TOTALS: 18 12-20 50
Brandywine 19 26 35 44
St. Joseph 8 17 40 50
3-point baskets: Brandywine 4 (Newman, Shelton, Smith), St. Joseph 2 (Valentine, Williams). Total fouls (fouled out): Brandywine 17 (Smith), St. Joseph 10 (none). Varsity records: Brandywine 13-1, St. Joseph 13-0