First, the positive -- St. Charles East's girls basketball team scored 63 points against Rockford Boylan Friday night.
Now, the negative -- the Saints' defense allowed 50 points in the first and fourth quarters.
It all added up to the Saints' 79-63 loss to Rockford Boylan (1-1) during the third day of the Schaumburg Thanksgiving Tournament.
Despite a valiant comeback, St. Charles East (1-1) was not able to recover from a dismal start that saw the visitors fall behind 16-0 in the first 4 minutes and 21-2 after 5 ½ minutes of action.
"We were sluggish and they were just basically running by us," said Drumtra. "It wasn't really like they had a hot hand -- they were shooting layups for the most part. They were beating us to the basket."
Converting 11 of their 19 first-quarter shots from the floor, including 3 of 4 from beyond the 3-point arc, the Titans exploded out to a 26-7 lead after 8 minutes.
Guards Jensen Blassage (9 points), Kayla Steward (8), and Casey Pettit (6) combined for 23 of the Titans' 26 first-quarter points, many of them coming off Saints' turnovers (11 in the first quarter).
"We have to do a better job on defense," admitted Drumtra. "There were way too many easy baskets."
Meanwhile, the Saints made just 2 of 11 field-goal attempts in the opening quarter.
"You can't start like that against a team like this," Drumtra said of the Titans.
Amanda Hilton and Kyra Washington helped ignite the Saints' 13-3 run late in the second quarter that cut the Titans' lead to 35-26.
After a timeout, the Titans found a wide-open Jessie Schiro in the corner and she buried a 3-pointer to up the lead back to double digits at 38-26.
St. Charles East sliced a 12-point halftime deficit to 43-37 on a putback by Washington (15 points) with 4:30 left in the third quarter.
Once again, the Titans answered as Blassage (game-high 20 points) capped off a personal 5-point run with a 3-pointer from the corner to build the lead back to 48-37.
Rockford Boylan shot 47 percent from the 3-point arc (8 of 17), fueled by Steward's 4 3-pointers.
"They had some nice open looks at the basket, too," said Drumtra.
The Saints, who outscored Rockford Boylan 39-29 in the middle 2 quarters, once again fought to within 59-53 on a short jumper by junior guard Katie Claussner with 5:25 remaining.
"I think the 1-3-1 (zone defense) kind of slowed them down a little bit," said Drumtra. "But that's a big hole to dig out of. It seemed like when we would get close, we'd have a turnover or commit a foul."
Rockford Boylan ended the Saints' final comeback bid with a 15-3 surge midway through the fourth quarter.
"It definitely wasn't the way we had hoped to start (the game) but I loved that our bench was supporting us the whole game and we came close in the fourth quarter," said 5-9 senior forward Hannah Nowling, who finished with 10 points and 18 rebounds.
"She works hard and she never gives up," Drumtra said of Nowling. "She gets pummeled out there a lot of the time but she's going against bigger players. She's very active under the basket."
Hilton, who paced the Saints with 17 points and 7 assists, finished the night just 7 points shy of the 1,000-point mark for her career. She will get another opportunity to reach the milestone this morning when the Saints face Montini (2-0).