Rebounding keys Linsly victory

BELLAIRE — Linsly Head Coach Rebecca Upton admits that there have been a few points of emphasis at Lady Cadet practices recently, including rebounding, ball control and taking advantage of turnovers.

Wednesday night, Upton’s squad showed that practice doesn’t always make perfect, but it sometimes does prove to be a difference maker.

Senior Mary Bedway led a balanced scoring attack with 10 points, while pulling down a game-high 15 rebounds, and Linsly grabbed a commanding 46-28 edge off the glass as the Cadets defeated Bellaire St. John, 44-30, on the Fighting Irish’s Guernsey Street boards.

“Rebounding has been a big point of emphasis at our last few practices,” Upton said. “I believe very strongly in rebounding, both offensive and defensive, and it worked out for us (Wednesday).

“Ball control has been another big one for us. I always tell the girls to make sure that we have our hands on the ball more than they do and capitalize on turnovers. The key is that you don’t have to take the first shot you see, you need to take the best shot you see.”

Both teams had trouble putting the ball in the hoop, each finishing the contest shooting right around 24-percent from the field, which led to plenty of second-chance shots for the Cadets, that eventually made the difference in the end.

With Linsly (2-2) leading 9-7 at the 1:21 mark of the first, the Cadets scored the final six points of the opening stanza and the initial five of the second to cap an 11-0 run and push the score to 20-7 early in the second. That margin eventually extended to 15 at 30-15 at the break when Lourdes Giovengo drained a triple just ahead of the horn.

Things didn’t get any better shooting-wise in the second half, with the two teams combining for just 29 total points, hitting just 11-of-47 shots from the field.

Bedway did have a nice third period for the visitors, scoring six points and pulling down seven rebounds, as Linsly led 38-19 after three. Freshman Jayden Lowe scored all eight of her points over the final eight minutes, with St. John (0-3) closing on an 11-4 run down the stretch.

“We have been working on taking good shots, and trying to take advantage of each offensive possession,” Upton added. “And with rebounding being a big thing in this game, it was nice to get some second-chance points.

“It’s always fun to win, and it’s good to get a win on the road also.”

St. John Head Coach Bubba Kapral knows his team just needs to come together after losing eight of 11 players from last year’s squad.

“We are definitely a work in progress,” Kapral commented. “And we have five girls that never played before. (Kaylyn) Nixon is back, and she is a nice player, and I really liked how Lowe stepped up (Wednesday).

“Offensive rebounding killed us and it is going to if you don’t box out. I challenged the girls at the half to do a better job at it and on Linsly’s first possession of the third quarter the same thing happened.

“But again, we are young and still finding things about each other. We also need to do a better job taking care of the basketball.”

Molly Heron added eight points and nine rebounds for the winners while freshman Charlie Allison had eight markers and eight boards. Bishop Donahue transfers Josie Purpura and Sarah Heller evenly divided 12.

Nixon scored a game-high 17 points, while completing the double-double with 10 rebounds, for the Fighting Irish while Alyssa Busack scored the hosts only other five points.

Linsly is right back on the road this evening, traveling to Hannibal to take on River, while Kapral’s crew will host Jefferson County Christian on Friday night.