BELLAIRE - St. John Central and Caldwell have both endured struggles this young girls' basketball season.
Saturday, the Redskins put those aside to pick up their first victory of the campaign.
Lexi Schell scored the first five points of the fourth quarter and that burst of energy propelled Caldwell to a 37-31 matinee triumph on the Irish's boards.
ST. JOHN Central’s Lindsey Froehlich (1) dribbles around Caldwell’s Tiffany Yerian during Saturday afternoons game in Bellaire.
''We have fought for five games and we finally broke through,'' Redskins head coach Ashley Dailey said. ''We started out well, then got got in a lull.
''We didn't have a letdown (Saturday).''
Meanwhile, the Irish (1-4), playing once again without injured standout Jessica Alvey, fizzled in the fourth quarter.
Two nights after being blanked 21-0 in the final period by Toronto, St. John mustered just three points during the final eight minutes Saturday. Caldwell won the final period, 11-3, after trailing, 28-26, after three.
''Without Jessica we don't have our top ball handler and our decision making was about as poor as it can get,'' Irish head coach Bubba Kapral said.
Schell opened the fourth quarter with a layup then, moments later, drained a three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Redskins (1-4) a 31-28 advantage. She finished with eight points.
''She's been struggling from the field and she gets frustrated,'' Dailey said of Schell, a senior. ''As long as she plays defense as well as she does, she'll be OK.''
From there, both teams went cold. The teams traded jump balls, fouls and free throw attempts, but neither took any real advantage.
''We shot the ball terrible, from the field and the free-throw line,'' Dailey lamented. ''We did so Thursday in a loss against Barnesville. We've got to get our shooting back.''
The Redskins were 5 of 19 from the charity stripe on the day, while the Irish were 15 of 26.
Caldwell's Tiffany Yerian, who paced the Redskins with 13 points, broke the field-goal drought when she canned a jumper with 1:12 remaining that gave her team a 34-29 lead.
With 34.5 ticks left, the Redskins' Laken Figel made a layup and was fouled. She missed the free throw, but St. John faced a 36-29 deficit.
Marissa Rose, who finished with a game-high 15 points despite battling back and ankles injuries, dropped in a layup with 10.1 seconds left, but it wasn't enough.
''We need people to step up and no one has done that yet,'' Kapral said. ''Now, we only have one ball handler and that makes it tough.''
Megan Devol added 10 points for the Redskins.
CALDWELL (37) - Weisand 1 0-2 2; Figel 1 1-5 3; Devol 4 2-4 10; Schell 3 0-2 8; Crawford 0 1-2 1; Yerian 6 1-4 13. Totals 15 5-19 37. ST. JOHN (31) - Froehlich 2 4-4 8; Porter 0 0-0 0; Lowe 2 2-6 6; Rose 3 9-15 15; Johnson 1 0-0 2; Johnson 0 0-0 0; LeMasters 0 0-1 0; Santinoceto 1 0-0 2. Totals 8 15-26 31.