Versatile Steffens, Stevenson subdue Carmel Catholic
It's a fair question: What position does 6-foot senior Klaire Steffens actually play for the Stevenson girls basketball team?
It's best to ask Ms. Steffens.
"I really don't know,'' Steffens replied.
With this senior, the Pats can actually play her wherever she wants to play. If her shot is falling, she can play guard. If her driving skills are working, she can take the ball to the hoop with the best of them.
After one quarter of the Carmel-Stevenson game on Saturday afternoon, Steffens led the Corsairs 8-3.
Stevenson (6-3) started this nonconference game, pitching a shutout. On a 3-pointer from Isabella Paldrmic, the Pats led 13-0. On her second basket of the day, Stevenson led 24-5 halfway through the second quarter.
Carmel (5-5) didn't quit. The Corsairs crept much closer, cutting the Pats' lead to 6 points early in the third quarter. Steffens got her double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds) as Stevenson posted a 45-31 win.
"In that first quarter, we played really well,'' said Stevenson coach Ashley Graham. "We've had three games in four days and I know this was a short turnaround, but there are no excuses."
Carmel's first-quarter hero was Kaytlyn Matz. Her 3-pointer saved Carmel from being shut out in the opening quarter.
The 3 also came in handy in the second quarter for the visitors, as Caitlin Teehan hit a pair of them in the final minute of the second quarter and Carmel was back in the game at the break, trailing 26-16.
"Carmel starts three sophomores,'' Graham noted. "And they have some individuals who are hard to guard."
Carmel made its move in the third quarter, as driving layup from Matz (7 points) made it 26-20.
"This was a little hiccup for us,'' Steffens said. "But we were able to keep the lead."
It wasn't all the Steffens Show, though. The hustle of senior Julia Osuch paid off with 6 steals, 4 points and 6 rebounds.
"She's very versatile,'' Graham observed.
As hard as it was to score for Carmel in the opening quarter, the fourth quarter also was troubling for the visitors. Carmel missed its first eight shots for the quarter, and a 7-point disadvantage turned into a double-digit lead for the Pats.
Steffens and Paldrmic scored the first 8 points of the final period for the Pats. Paldrmic nailed a 12-footer and the Pats were up 41-26. She finished with 9 points.
Both teams were able to clear the benches late.
Gina Shanley and freshman Nicole Ware scored for the home team. Katie Lach broke the Stevenson fourth-quarter shutout with a pair of free throws, and Rachel Mooney broke through on the offensive end with a 3 for the last points of the contest.