First Quarter Scoring Leads Riders To WBL Victory

St. Marys’ Noelle Ruane drives to the basket during the second quarter of a Western Buckeye League girls basketball game against Shawnee on Thursday.
Sports Editor

From quarters two through four, St. Marys was outscored 34-30; luckily, however, the Roughriders outscored Shawnee 16-5 in the first quarter.

The first quarter of Thursday's Western Buckeye League girls basketball game made the difference for the Roughriders in a 46-39 victory to earn their fourth win in the last five games.

"It was a physical and tough game," Roughriders coach Jon Burke said. "We had a lot of turnovers and that team speeds you up, probably more so than what we expected.

"But we grew tonight. We grew and learned that we need to protect the ball and run offense at the end of the game. We are learning that you don't always need to be a hero and take the shot."

The Roughriders (5-7, 2-2 WBL) jumped out to a 6-0 lead to open the first 1:33 and eventually extended that lead to 16-2 on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor — led by Lauren Cisco's six first-quarter points.

Meanwhile, Shawnee turned the ball over on 14 times in its first 19 possessions before Tessa Jordan's 3-pointer pulled the Indians to 16-5 near the end of the quarter.

But both teams were essentially even after that with Shawnee turning up the ball pressure on the Riders — who committed seven turnovers and had four missed shots in the first 11 possessions of the second quarter.

Shawnee was able to chip away at the Roughriders' lead to trail by just seven heading into the fourth quarter and came to as close as six points, 43-37, when Kerri Roberson knocked down a 3-pointer with 2:15 remaining in regulation, but the Roughriders ran out the clock to close out their first close win of the season.

Burke credited Cisco for allowing his team to come out with a win on Thursday. The junior scored a game-high 11 points, but Burke said her composure also aided in the team's win down the stretch.

"Lauren is our leader and when she is playing well, it translates to the other girls," the coach added. "But more importantly than anything is the leadership to gives her teammates. It makes a good teammate and she takes that to heart.

"When she stays composed down the stretch in a game, it makes the other girls stay composed and she did that tonight. I am proud of her development tonight and what she demonstrated as a leader for her team."

The Roughriders also won the junior varsity contest 58-16.