St. Joseph’s Academy went on a 14-0 run in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter and came away with an impressive 54-47 victory over Dutchtown Friday night at SJA.
Four players scored during that decisive run and one play was indicative of how the Redstickers played in this game with their moving and cutting style. Running a 1-4 high offense, junior post player Caroline Olivier had the ball at the free throw line and lofted a an assist to senior guard Haley Phillips, who cut backdoor and hit a layup to put SJA up 44-37.
Surging SJA has won seven of its last eight games and is 11-10 overall and leads District 5-5A at 4-0. Dutchtown falls to 14-11 and 3-1.
“I’m a big fundamental coach,” SJA coach deLynn Stelly said. “We work on passing and moving in practice every day. Once you keep doing it, it becomes natural by the end of the season.
“We’re on the right track right now in district. Our district is pretty even with not one dominant team. We’ve got six more games.”
SJA gained confidence with Tuesday’s 51-45 road win over defending 5-5A champion St. Amant. The Redstickersrallied from a 16-point halftime deficit. The teams battled to a 21-21 halftime tie after SJA’s Olivia Abadie and Dutchtown’s Kelsie Baker both drained 3-pointers in the closing seconds.
SJA surged to an 11-3 lead after one quarter with Abadie hitting a late 14-footer.
“SJA did a good job defensively and held us to three points in the first quarter,” Dutchtown coach Annette Lowery said. “That’s usually what we’re doing to other teams. We didn’t play well defensively and offensively we didn’t execute. Hopefully we’ll learn from this.”
St. Joseph’s starts four seniors in Bailey Favaloro (18 points, five rebounds), Abadie (16 points, six rebounds, four assists), Phillips (seven points, four assists) and defensive stopper Margo Richard. Olivier (12 points, six rebounds, four assists) and Abadie came up with big defensive rebounds down the stretch.
“I was really proud of everybody on the team,” Abadie said.“I thought it was a great win. We handled their press and really executed on offense.”
“We’ve been playing together for a long time,” Olivier said. “We started the season with a challenging schedule.
“Everything is coming together now.”
Kyra Harleaux scored 16, Kelsie Baker 14 and LaShone Reddit 11 for Dutchtown. Harleaux hit three 3-pointers, including two in the final two minutes that pulled the Griffins within 51-45 with 1:02 remaining.
SJA hit three of seven free throws in the final minute. Dutchtown missed its last five field goal tries. Baker hit two free throws with 19 seconds remaining to cut the SJA lead to 52-47. Phillips and Abadie each hit a free throw for the final margin.