By: Aaron Pyle
The St. Paul Lady Indians secured the seventh straight league title in their previous 52-16 win over Oswego, Feb. 18. Looking to continue the winning streak of three games, the Lady Indians stayed home at Billy Fager Fieldhouse for a conference matchup against Yates Center (8-9).
St. Paul would pull away early in the game outscoring the Lions 30-4 in the first quarter credited 13 points combined from senior Katie Coomes and sophomore Elise Doherty. The Lady Indians remained solid defensively throughout the second quarter holding Yates Center to seven points as St. Paul led 48-11 at halftime.
The Wildcats picked up the pace offensively in the second half but their efforts came too late as the Lady Indians went on to win 65-35 over Yates Center.
Doherty led all scorers finishing with 13 points in the victory. The Lady Indians also had three other players finish scoring in the double digits; sophomore Emerald Struthers (11), freshman Josie Harris (11), and senior Taylor Wiatrak (10).
St. Paul is slated to play in the Class 1A Regional semifinal Friday, Feb. 28, after receiving a first-round bye. The [1} Lady Indians (16-4) will play the winner of  Moran-Marmaton Valley (8-11) at Moran-Marmaton Valley HS.
For the boys, the team comes off a 76-52 win over Oswego, Feb. 18, led by 21 points from senior Adam Albertini. Looking to continue in the same pattern as the Lady Indians, three games straight, St. Paul looked to keep the momentum going against Yates Center, Feb. 21. The conference matchup for the Indians marked the close to their regular season.
The first half brought about a low-scoring affair for both sides of the ball as neither team could find a rhythm early on. Albertini helped pull the Indians away from the Wildcats throughout the first half scoring 16 of St. Paul’s 25 points. At halftime, St. Paul led Yates Center 25-14.
St. Paul kept it going in the third quarter outscoring the Wildcats 12-7 as baskets came at a premium on both sides of the ball. The Indians kept the momentum going in the final quarter dropping 26 points to go on to defeat Yates Center, 63-40.
Albertini finished the game with 27 points for the Indians in the victory marking a season-high for the senior. Senior Kaleb Lemmons made a major contribution in the win scoring 17 points for St. Paul.
As the regular season closes for the Indians,  St. Paul (14-6) will move onto the second-round semifinal of the 1A Regionals Thursday, Feb. 27. St. Paul is set to play the winner of  Chetopa (4-15) vs.  Oswego (4-15) at Moran-Marmaton Valley HS.