Gillespie’s 24 sparks St. C. past UL, 62-52
ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Sometimes a team needs a spark when its not playing to its capabilities.
Carlee Gillespie came off the St. Clairsville bench midway through the first quarter and not only gave her team a lift, but some scoring, as well.
The cat-quick senior scored a career-high 24 points in leading her team to a 62-52 Buckeye 8 victory against visiting Union Local Monday night on John Jenkins Court.
“I’ll say what I’ve said before,” St. Clairsville head coach Alicia Freeman said of Gillespie. “She’s a terror on defense. We told her that’s how she can get a lot of her points is by playing really good defense.”
Trailing 13-8 after eight minutes, Brigee Mick meshed a pair of free throws to make it 13-10. That’s when Gillespie made her presence felt. She and Anna DeFillippo each made a foul shot for a 13-12 deficit, but Gillespie picked a Union Local player’s pocket and sailed in for an easy layup, giving the Red Devils (2-0) a 14-13 lead they would never relinquish.
Following a Jets (1-1) timeout, Gillespie repeated her thievery for another uncontested layup. She would finish the period with eight points.
Mick’s bonus goal ahead of the first-half buzzer gave the hosts a 29-22 advantage at the break.
Leading by 10, 41-31, with just under three minutes left in the third quarter, Gillespie went on another scoring spree to bump the margin to a game-high 17, 48-31, as a three-pointer from the right corner punctuated the run.
“It just felt like my day,” the soft-spoken Gillespie said. She also charted half-a-dozen steals and handed out two assists.
“We didn’t have an answer for her,” first-year Union Local head coach Kelly Hanlon offered. “We tried three different girls on her.”
The Jets didn’t back down, however, as Cori Medley and Amanda Swallie led a comeback that drew the visitors to within 48-43 early in the fourth quarter.
However, after DeFillippo halted the Jets’ run with a basket, Gillespie tallied eight straight markers to put the game out of reach.
“I haven’t had that many points in a while,” Gillespie admitted. “It feels good to be 2-0. We haven’t done this well in a couple of seasons.”
Lost in the shuffle was a career milestone for Medley. The Jets’ 4-year starter scored her 1,000th career point on a three-pointer from the right wing with 2:15 remaining in the third quarter. She would finish the contest with 17 points, giving her 1,010.
“I told her that it is over with and now we can move on,” Hanlon noted. “It was a good accomplishment for her.”
St. Clairsville held a slim, 40-39, edge off the glass as Lauren Figura had a game-high 10 boards and DeFillippo added nine.
Abby Collins had 10 rebounds for UL, while Medley had eight boards, five assists and three steals. Swallie finished with 11 points.
The Jets were guilty of 19 turnovers, two more than the Red Devils.
St. Clairsville hosts River in a matchup of unbeatens Wednesday. Union Local hosts Edison Thursday.
UL won the JV game, 24-20.
UNION LOCAL (52) – Medley 7 0-0 17; Swallie 4 2-7 11; Collins 4 0-0 8; Russell 0 0-1 0; Patton 3 0-0 6; Delaney 3 0-2 6; Butler 2 0-0 4; Rucker 0 0-0 0; Totals: 23-55 2-10. ST. CLAIRSVILLE (62) – St. Clair 5 3-6 13; Mick 2 2-3 7; DeFillippo 5 1-2 11; Figura 3 1-2 7; Cenkus 0 0-0 0; Gillespie 10 3-6 24; Sliva 0 0-0 0; Totals: 25-55 10-19.
Three-Point Goals: Union Local 4 (Medley 3, Swallie); St. Clairsville 2 (Gillespie, Mick)
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