St. Edward claims Metro Suburban Red title
There are some nights when basketball teams shoot well.
Then there's a night like Thursday at St. Edward.
The Green Wave's girls basketball team was hotter than a firecracker on the 4th of July, knocking down 15 of 23 shots from beyond the 3-point arc in rolling to a 70-41 Senior Night win over Walther Christian, thus claiming the Metro Suburban Conference Red Division championship outright.
It's St. Edward's first conference title in girls basketball in possibly more than 30 years. School officials are still scouring records to find the last time the Green Wave won a conference crown.
"It's the first conference championship I've been involved with and I've been around here over 40 years," said Wave assistant coach Denny Butzow, a former star player in the St. Edward boys program.
It was also St. Edward's 22nd win of the season, more wins than any team since the 2010-11 squad won 21.
"It's awesome," said senior Maddie Spagnola, who led the balanced effort with 17 points including five 3-pointers. "We have something special here. This team is really special. It's not about one single person. This team has been amazing."
Senior Yssa Sto. Domingo had 15 points and three 3s, senior Katie Castoro scored 13 points and junior Madison Knott knocked down all four of her 3-point attempts on her way to 13 points as the Green Wave (22-5, 14-0) turned a 10-point halftime lead into a rout by the end of the third quarter.
"We're at our best when we're not playing selfish, when we're making the extra pass and finding people open," said Wave coach Michelle Dawson, whose team is the top seed in next week's Class 2A Guerin regional.
"This team is dynamic enough that anybody can score."
The Green Wave proved that early on as Walther Christian (21-5, 12-2) employed a spread zone defense designed to not allow St. Edward to drive the lane for easy layups.
While the Broncos did a good job of denying Spagnola, St. Edward's leading scorer, the ball early on, the Wave had other players step up. Knott scored 7 of her points in the first half and Castoro had 8.
"With the zone they played it helped us look for more shots," said Spagnola, who added 3 assists and 4 steals. "The second half really helped us. We were just knocking them down."
Leading 30-22 midway through the third quarter, a Castoro 3-pointer started St. Edward on a 12-0 run that put the game away. A driving layup from Spagnola, who has yet to make her college choice, with 40 seconds left in the period made it a 42-22 game and the closest Walther would get the rest of the way would be 16.
St. Edward finished the night shooting 24 of 49 overall while Walther, which won the rebound battle 34-25, was 16-for-46. The Broncos also had 23 turnovers to St. Edward's 14.
Freshman Kalvina Eubanks led Walther Christian with 12 points and senior Mya Kirksy added 11.