There were several strong comebacks staged by St. Charles East's girls basketball team Wednesday afternoon.
But it was a lackluster start that left Saints coach Lori Drumtra exasperated during their 57-48 loss to Lyons Township (8-4) in the opening round of the Falcon Classic/Bill Neibch Holiday Tournament at Wheaton North.
The Saints (7-7) were forced to play catch-up throughout after falling behind 8-0 in the first 2 minutes.
"It shouldn't have been," Drumtra said of her team's slow start. "We talked about our start and not coming out flat-footed. They (players) were in the gym an hour before we left for the game.
"But then to come out and give up eight straight points, and it looked like we didn't know what we were doing, it's very disappointing," added the coach.
Lyons, led by versatile 5-11 senior guard Ashanti Davis, built a 25-13 advantage midway through the second quarter on a 3-pointer from Victoria Swift (10 points).
However, the Saints closed out the quarter on an 8-0 run -- the last 6 by junior guard Amanda Hilton (14 points) -- to pull within 4 at 25-21 by halftime.
"There were flashes where we were very good, a minute here and a minute there," said Drumtra, whose team returns to face Jacobs at noon Thursday at Wheaton North. "But then all of a sudden, we're down by 10 (points) again."
Four straight points by Carly Pottle (8 points) to open the second half enabled the Saints to draw even at 25-25.
But the Lions finished the third quarter with another mini-run that included a driving layup and 3-pointer from Kayla Morrissey (18 points) to take a 38-32 lead.
Pottle's 3-pointer from the top of the key brought the Saints within 2 at 40-38 with 6:36 remaining before the Lions tallied 11 unanswered points over the next 2 minutes to pull away.
During the run, 3 different Lyons players knocked down 3-pointers -- Morrissey, Gaby Galassini, and Davis.
"They showed us that they did have an outside game," said Hilton. "They made a lot of shots and they were unbelievable on their free throws. We tried to come back but they kept making them."
Lyons, which will face Hinsdale Central Thursday for the third time this season, made all 8 of its fourth-quarter foul shots.
While Sara Beck was the Lions' fourth player to reach double-digit scoring with 10 points, it was Davis who flashed her all-around skills with 14 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and a pair of blocked shots.
"Ashanti is a very special player," Lyons coach Katie Meyers said of Davis. "She's got a high basketball IQ. I always say that Ashanti really doesn't have a true position. She plays the one (point guard) through the five (center)."
"She's a nice player," Drumtra said of Davis. "When she gets doubled, she finds the open person. We got caught staring at the ball."
Senior guard Paige Jordan had 14 points and 8 rebounds, while sophomore Kyra Washington added 5 points and 10 rebounds for the Saints.
"I never really worry too much about the offense," said Drumtra. "It's more our defense. Giving up 57 points is unacceptable.
"They need to take more pride in their defense," added the coach. "It's not as if we don't emphasize it. Defense is what is going to make our offense go and right now I'm not sure I've got everybody buying into that."