After a win over Nicollet/Loyola in the season opener and subsequent snowstorm pushed their home opener back almost a week, the St. James Area girls basketball wasted no time in asserting themselves in a dominant win over New Ulm Cathedral 72-49.
St. James took an early 11-1 advantage and never looked back. Seven players scored in the first half, led by senior Kaydi Anderson's eight points. Anderson, after being held scoreless in the opener, led all scorers with 21 points on 9/10 shooting. Anderson also hauled in nine rebounds.
"Our focus tonight was to get her [Kaydi] and Kelsey [Grunewald] touches in the post," said head coach Steve Witcraft. "We worked on that in practice. We said we need to get those post touches. Kelsey had some really good moves. I thought Ellie [Becker] and Jaelyn [Haler] both looked for the post and had some good passes."
On defense, St. James held the Greyhounds to just five made field goals, but NUC was able to get to the foul line 16 times in the first half, shooting 7/16 from the charity stripe.
St. James held a 30-13 lead late in the half, but a small run by the Greyhounds cut the lead to 30-18 heading into the break.
"I thought defensively as the game went on we made some adjustments to take away things that they were doing on offense," said Witcraft. "We just fouled too much."
In the second half, the closest the Greyhounds would come is within eight points before the onslaught from St. James commenced. Up 35-24, Anderson scored the next seven for St. James, extending the lead to 42-26.
Consecutive baskets from Grunewald, Addie Bowers, and Taylor Sodeman pushed the lead to 49-26, burying New Ulm Cathedral.
Haler recorded a double-double for her efforts, with ten points, ten rebounds and seven assists.
Becker also finished with seven assists to go along with four points.
Taylor Sodeman finished with nine off the bench.
Chloe Mickelson dropped in nine of her own, including two three-pointers.
Addie Bowers had eight points and six rebounds.
Sailor Mohlenbrock, Madelyn Malmgren, and Lunden Swanson each scored two.
New Ulm Cathedral was led by Sarah Mohr. The junior guard scored 20 points in the loss.