COLUMBUS — An 11-0 run to start the second quarter separated Scotus Central Catholic from Guardian Angels Central Catholic and a strong fourth quarter finished the Shamrocks’ first win of the season.
Grace Wickham scored 12 of her team-high 17 points after halftime to lead Scotus to a 64-39 rout of the Bluejays on Tuesday at Dowd Activity Center.
It was a big step up from the season-opener, a one-point loss to Hastings St. Cecilia.
“We did a lot of really good things and cleaned some things up,” Scotus head coach Jarrod Ridder said.
Wickham and Bailey Lehr, who scored 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting, got Scotus rolling in the first quarter.
The pair scored four points each as the Shamrocks took a 17-11 lead into the second period. GACC was able to hang around early behind eight first-quarter points from Lexis Haase, who finished with a game-high 18 points.
When she went cold, so did the Bluejays’ offense.
Scotus scored the first 11 points of the second quarter and led by double figures the rest of the game, including 33-18 at halftime.
Wickham’s 3-pointer in the closing seconds gave Scotus an 18-point advantage going into the final quarter.
Ridder expected the Bluejays to press the entire game, and they did. With three seniors as the Shamrocks’ primary ball-handlers, Scotus was able to solve GACC’s press and get some easy baskets.
“We just came out and once we settled in against their press, we did a good job of being aggressive and attacking it,” Ridder said.
That’s something he expects from his team.
“With our veteran team, anything a team throws at us, we can communicate that and hopefully do what needs to be done,” he said.
The Shamrocks did that Tuesday. And when they didn’t, Scotus stretched the Bluejays' zone, often passing on good shots for great shots.
“We were patient offensively and we did a good job getting the ball into spots against their zone where we could score,” Ridder said. “We wanted to make their zone chase and that’s what we did.”
When shots are falling, the defense feeds off that. Scotus only took eight 3-pointers in the game, knocking down five of them. Wickham was 2 for 3 from beyond the arc, and 7 of 10 from the field overall.
Maggie Feehan also knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and added eight points for Scotus.
But it’s still early in the season and there’s work to be done. Scotus was just 9 of 19 from the free-throw line.
“We just have to keep growing,” Ridder said. “We have to continue to execute better, communicate and work together as a team and improve each and every day.”
The Shamrocks (1-1) host Grand Island Central Catholic on Friday.