COLUMBUS -- Scotus Central Catholic's size advantage was too much for Kearney Catholic to handle Saturday afternoon.

The Shamrocks dominated inside on both ends of the floor on their way to a 57-45 victory over the newest member of the Centennial Conference at the Dowd Activity Center.

Scotus (15-5), winners of three straight, shot 59 percent from two-point range, with most of those coming in the lane, and out-rebounded the smaller Stars 35-19 on their way to the victory.

"I thought we did a nice job of attacking the rim," Scotus head coach Jarrod Ridder said. "We had a size advantage on them, and we did a good job of taking advantage of that. We were aggressive and made some shots."

The Shamrocks, who led 33-24 at the half, all but put the game away in the third quarter with a 15-2 run. Forward Bailey Lehr and centers Shania Borchers and Marika Spencer scored all but two of the points in the spurt, which gave Scotus its biggest lead of the game at 48-28.

Lehr, a 5-foot-10 junior who finished with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, began the run with back-to-back baskets, and Borchers, a 6-0 senior, added a bucket for a 39-26 Scotus lead.

After Olivia Micek made two free throws for the Stars (11-10), Lehr, who went 6 of 6 from the free throw line, hit a pair from the stripe, and Spencer's traditional three-point play pushed the margin to 44-28 with just over 3 minutes left in the third period.

Kendra Wiese followed with a bucket on a steal, and Spencer, a 6-1 senior, scored on a pass from Grace Wickman to give the Shamrocks the 20-point edge late in the period.

Spencer and guard Maggie Feehan had 13 points each to lead the offense, while Borchers missed double figures by a field goal, finishing with eight points.

"We play well as a team," Ridder said. "We really don't care who scores. We just want to get quality shots and, evidently today, we did that with three players in double figures."

While Scotus' big people were getting the job done inside, the Shamrocks' ballhanders did their part as well. Except for a brief run in the fourth quarter, Scotus was able to handle the Kearney Catholic press.

"They are small and quick, and they like to pressure full court," Ridder said. "I thought we did a good job of attacking that."

The victory came in the final home game for seven Scotus seniors. Playing their final game on the Dowd Activity Center floor were Borchers, Feehan, Wickman, Wiese, Spencer, Madison Kerkman and Grace Odbert, whose steal and bucket capped a 9-3 Scotus run, giving the Shamrocks a 19-13 lead late in the first quarter.

"It was nice to come out and play well and send the seniors out on a high note," Ridder said.

Annie Trettel had 12 points, Ashlynn Schmaderer added 11 points, and Micek finished with nine for the Stars.

Scotus has one regular season game remaining, its annual tussle with crosstown rival Lakeview on Tuesday at the Vikings' home gym, before entering subdistrict play the following week.

The Shamrocks defeated Lakeview 52-27 in the finals of the Columbus Holiday Tournament on Dec. 29 at the Dowd Activity Center. Ridder expects Tuesday's rematch to be much tougher.

"It's always a battle with Lakeview up there," Ridder said. "We have to come ready to go."


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