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Morning Sun
  • PHS beats St. James Academy

  • Playing on back-to-back days and their first Saturday game of the season, the Pittsburg girls came out strong with a balanced offensive attack, some good passing, a major rebounding advantage and they responded to every St. James Academy scoring run with a definitive answer en route to a 53-37 win over the Thunder (Class 5A).

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  • Playing on back-to-back days and their first Saturday game of the season, the Pittsburg girls came out strong with a balanced offensive attack, some good passing, a major rebounding advantage and they responded to every St. James Academy scoring run with a definitive answer en route to a 53-37 win over the Thunder (Class 5A).
    “I’m pleasantly surprised by how we handled playing on a Saturday morning-slash-afternoon,” Pittsburg head coach Kim Peterson-O’Bray said. “We didn’t know how they were going to come out after getting home kinda late last night after playing (Columbus). But, you know, it didn’t faze them, they just took it as it’s another day and we’ve got to go out  and do our job and they did it.
    “We definitely worked on the boards. We did an outstanding job on the boards tonight, I guess I shouldn’t say tonight, this afternoon. Our passing at times was a little sketchy as the girls would say but overall, we were able to hold it together.”
    Pittsburg scored the first six points of the game, had a 8-0 run to get it to 14-5 after St. James scored five straight, had a 8-0 run before halftime to make it 27-20 after St. James took its first and only lead at 20-19, had a 7-0 run at the end of the third and the start of the fourth to go ahead 41-29 and had a 8-0 run in the fourth to gain a 17-point lead, 51-34.
    “Thank goodness,” Peterson-O’Bray said of Pittsburg having answers for St. James. “I just think it was a matter of making some adjustments here and there. Once we got to the second half, I think we were able to stretch it out a little bit more.”
    One adjustment involved closing out on St. James outside shooters Lesley Kelly and Julianne Smith.
    Kelly entered the game in the first quarter and scored 11 first-half points, nine on three 3-point shots from virtually the same exact spot on the floor each time. Her third 3 gave St. James a 20-19 lead with 3:59 left in the first half. Peterson-O’Bray called a timeout and got onto her players for not closing out.
    “We knew 44 (Kelly) could shoot it from there,” Peterson-O’Bray said. “We knew No. 1 (Smith) could shoot it and early on, it was like a delayed reaction for our team because we had told them and we had given them that warning. They just needed a kick in the pants at halftime and a few reminders on the bench. We finally got that shut down.”
    Kelly went scoreless in the second half to finish with 11 points and Julianne Smith added nine.
    Pittsburg senior forward Lizzy Willis had game-highs of 16 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Katy Short had eight points, four rebounds and four assists and off the bench, Brianna Maxwell played her best game since her return with eight points and five rebounds. Mercedes Vogel had seven points and Alaura Short added four.
    Page 2 of 2 - Pittsburg (7-1) starts play in the Burlington Invitational with a game Tuesday night against Labette County.
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