By: Aaron Pyle
The Lady Indians entered the second round of the Lancer Classic fresh off a dominating 67-22 victory over the Jayhawk-Linn Jayhawks (1-6). Following the win, the Lady Indians tipped off the second round of pool play against Baxter Springs (3-3).
Both teams made it an emphasis early in the game attacking from inside the paint. In the first quarter, the Indians held the advantage with their aggressive defensive prowess causing turnovers which led to fastbreak opportunities for St. Paul.
At halftime, the Lady Indians led 13-8. From there, St. Paul hounded the Lady Lions defensively as Baxter went scoreless in the second half until two minutes into the fourth. Baxter began to pick up the pace offensively but the Lady Indians lead grew to become too much for a comeback.
The St. Paul Lady Indians went on to claim a 26-15 victory over the Lady Lions capturing the teams’ tenth win and fifth consecutive this season (10-2).
St. Paul’s senior pair of Emily Hutcherson and Taylor Wiatrak led the Lady Indians in scoring Thursday night as the two finished with eight points, respectively.
Coach Doug Tuck and his Lady Indians are slated to play in the Lancer Classic championship game with the opponent TBA. Tip-off of the championship is set for Saturday, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m.
For the boys, the team kicked off their first contest in the Lancer Classic against the Baxter Springs Lions (4-4). Nearly one week before the Lions matchup, Jan. 17, the Indians prevailed over St. Mary’s-Colgan (3-7) 26-22.
Much like the start of the Lady Indians matchup against Baxter, both teams attacked the paint early on. Baxter slowly pulled away from the Indians late in the first following a small run. In the second quarter, the pace picked up with both sides pushing the pace to up-tempo. The Lions soon started knocking down mid-range jumpers while the Indians began to go cold. St. Paul trailed by as much as eight in the second but found their way back into the game getting to the free-throw line.
At halftime, St. Paul trailed Baxter 26-21.
Beginning the third quarter, the Indians would go on a 7-2 run to cut the Lions deficit getting themselves back within reach. Following the run, the Indians started to go cold while the Lions started to slowly pull away once again.
Baxter pushed the lead to as much as 11 midway through the fourth quarter but the Indians weren’t ready to pack their bags just yet. St. Paul cut the deficit to as much as five with less than two minutes remaining credited to the Indians’ ability to create turnovers and attack in transition.
Forced to foul, Baxter went to the line to further their lead. The Lions executed on the free throws while the Indians offense struggled to cut the gap. Efforts came too late for St. Paul as the Lions claimed a 53-45 victory over the Indians.
Seniors Chandler Bradshaw and Easton Dent led St. Paul in scoring Thursday night as the two finished the game with 14 points each. Senior Adam Albertini also finished the game with 12 points in the loss.
St. Paul (7-4) will continue pool play in the Lancer Classic as the Indians square off against Southeast (4-6) Friday, Jan. 24, at 8:30 p.m. Earlier this season, the two teams met in the St. Paul Early Season Tournament where the Indians narrowly defeated the Lancers 55-54.