COLUMBUS -- It wasn’t pretty on offense for Scotus Central Catholic on Tuesday night, but the Shamrocks’ defense came to play.
Class C, No. 7 Scotus (17-5) suffocated David City Aquinas (10-13) for a 42-31 victory at Columbus High School in a semifinal of the C1-7 subdistrict tournament.
“I just thought we did a great job of playing team defense,” Scotus head coach Jarrod Ridder said. “We really did a nice job of moving when we weren’t guarding the ball. That was the biggest thing just constantly moving and talking throughout the game.”
Both teams spun their wheels a bit in the early going, struggling with turnovers and overall sloppy play. Four early points for Marika Spencer pushed the Shamrocks out to an 8-4 lead in the first quarter, but Scotus settled for an 8-6 lead at the end of the period.
The Shamrocks’ defense took over in the second period, holding the Monarchs scoreless over the first 7 1/2 minutes over the quarter, extending their lead to 18-6. Aquinas got the final points of the half to make it 18-8 at the break.
Lehr had six of her game-high 15 points in the quarter to pace Scotus.
Vanessa Bohuslavsky opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer to pull the Monarchs within seven, but they never got any closer.
An 8-0 run by Scotus later in the quarter made it 30-14 and put the game out of reach. Grace Wickham’s 3-pointer, Scotus’ only one of the game, got the run started and Spencer followed with a traditional 3-point play. Maggie Feehan capped the spurt with her only basket of the game.
“We made a lot of plays in that second half to pull away,” Ridder said. “We were aggressive and took really good shots. We didn’t necessarily make the shots we think we can make, but we just stuck with it and kept playing. That’s what you got to do this time of year.”
Aquinas pulled back within 10 in the fourth quarter, but never seriously threatened the Shamrocks.
“I give Aquinas a lot of credit, they kept battling and making runs at us,” Ridder said.
Shania Borchers added nine points for Scotus, including making seven of eight free throw attempts. As a team, the Shamrocks were 17 for 23 at the charity stripe.
Breanna Stouffer and Veronica Kobza had 10 points apiece to lead Aquinas.
Scotus will play North Bend in C1-7 championship game. It’s the third straight year the two teams have met with the Shamrocks winning the first two in tight matchups. Scotus beat the Tigers, who are ratings contenders in Class C-1, 40-24 back on Jan. 16, but Ridder expects this one to be much tighter.
“The last couple years in the postseason when we played them, it’s been down to the last possession of the game and I wouldn’t expect any different (on Thursday,)” he said. “They’re big, physical, athletic and really rebound well. We’re going to have a tough challenge.”