By Bonta Hill
Most high school basketball teams would take a 24-point victory and be happy with the results, but St. Ignatius girls basketball isn’t like most high school teams.
Despite beating visiting St. Patrick/St. Vincent 74-50 on Monday in non-league action, the Wildcats (10-2) were not as sharp as some have grown accustomed to seeing this season.
St. Ignatius committed 25 turnovers overall, including 12 in the opening frame and with West Catholic Athletic League play opening Wednesday against Notre Dame-Belmont, St. Ignatius head coach Mike Mulkerrins was not at all thrilled with his team’s performance.
“To be honest, we have to be a lot better or else we’re not going to win many games in league,” Mulkerrins said. “We’re not crisp enough offensively, we’re not communicating enough defensively, we’re missing easy layups. Not real happy with our performance.”
Although the Wildcats were uncharacteristically careless with the ball in the first quarter, they still held a 19-15 lead going into the second frame.
After the Bruins (5-7) took a brief 20-19 lead, the Wildcats defensive pressure would break open the game, as they forced St. Patrick/St. Vincent into 12 turnovers in the second quarter before going up 36-25 at the half.
The Bruins would finish the game with 34 turnovers, something St. Patrick/St. Vincent head coach Nadine Walker knows played a big part in her team’s loss.
“[St. Ignatius] turned up the pressure and we fell to their pressure,” Walker said. “[Give] credit to [St. Ignatius], they turned it on and my girls haven’t felt that. This game was good for us though, because we haven’t played anybody like that.”
In the second half, St. Ignatius put the game out of reach with a 9-2 run to extend their lead to 45-27, as the Bruins continued to have dificulties handling the Wildcats pressure.
Maria Kemiji-McDonald led St. Ignatius with 14 points and Kaitlyn Crawley chipped in 12 points, but it was the overall sloppiness that hovered in the Wildcats mind’s afterwards.
“That’s not how we want to [start] any game and I think we weren’t mentally prepared coming in,” Crawley said. “Notre Dame-Belmont is a really good team and we can’t afford to have a half like that.”
Mulkerrins hinted that the days he gave the team off after the Sand Dune Classic last week may have had an impact, but wasn’t making any excuses for his team’s play.
“Obviously we wore them down, forced a lot of turnovers, and we work hard,” Mulkerrins said. “But working hard is not going to win games. We have to run our offense crisply, we have to defend better. We have to do a lot better.”
Maria Kemiji-McDonald – 14
Kaitlyn Crawley – 12
Raquel Avila – 10
Alex Legarza – 9
Crystal Sun – 8
St Patrick/St. Vincent
Paige Reed – 11
Taylor Faucett – 10
Taylor Hamilton – 9
Natasha Wallace – 8
Patrice Yap – 7