Walther Christian hands St. Edward 1st conference loss
Round one between the top two contenders for the Metro Suburban Red girls basketball title went to Walther Christian.
The Lady Broncos scored a decisive decision on the road at St. Edward on Tuesday night with a 56-40 win against the defending conference champs to improve to 9-0 in the conference. The Green Wave fell to 7-1. The two rivals meet again next Thursday at Walther.
"They've had our number the last couple years, so this is a big win for us," Walther Lutheran coach Todd Fisher said. "This is not an easy place to play, but the atmosphere is a lot of fun. We have a very experienced group and they handled it very well. I liked the way we came out focused and ready to play."
The Broncos were especially ready on defense. They forced the Green Wave 24 turnovers and just 14-of-56 (25 percent) shooting from the field, including just 6-of-27 from the 3-point arc.
"We know they have some really good 3-point shooters," Fisher said. "So, protecting the 3-point perimeter was our number one priority. I thought we did a good job of getting out and contesting shots."
Walther (21-1, 9-0) also had a 38-24 rebounding advantage.
Tasia Jordan was tenacious on defense and the boards for the Broncos with 20 rebounds and 5 blocked shots along with 9 points.
"I'm just always focused on getting the ball," Jordan said. "I use my legs a lot to get in position to get the ball. It was big win for us. The whole team was focused and didn't let the crowd get to us."
Sophomore Kalvina Eubanks sparked the Broncos' offense with a game-high 20 points. She scored 7 in the first quarter to help give Walther a 14-8 lead. The Broncos extended their lead to 24-14 by halftime.
Eubanks also helped seal the deal with 8 points in the fourth quarter after the Green Wave had pulled to within 33-27. Vivica Coleman had a 3-point play to start a 7-0 run that put the Broncos back up 40-27. Eubanks followed with a pair of buckets on strong drives to the basket.
"For a sophomore she is becoming one of leaders both on and off the court for us," Fisher said. "She can create so much with the ball and she gets after it on defense, too."
The Green Wave (14-7, 7-1) were in a shooting funk from the start, missing their first 13 3-point attempts before Yssa Sto. Domingo hit back-to-back 3s to get the Wave to within 17-14. However, St. Edward could not sustain any kind of rhythm on offense.
"With their quickness and strength on defense they are able to alter a lot of shots," St. Edward coach Michelle Dawson said. "I think that got to us especially in the first half. I think we made some adjustments and did a better job in the second half, but we didn't get enough defensive stops. They have the ability to score in so many ways both running the floor and attacking the basket. We'll have to look at some film to figure out a way to stop them."
Madison Knott had 11 points to lead the Green Wave in scoring.