ST. PAUL — The only question left at halftime Friday was whether Scotus Central Catholic would hold St. Paul to single digits for the game.
The Wildcats (2-6) managed to crack double figures, barely, as the Shamrocks, ranked 10th in Class C-1, rolled to a 45-11 road victory. Eleven points are the fewest Scotus (5-2) has given up since a 37-7 win over Schuyler in 2010.
Marika Spencer and Bailey Lehr dominated the interior for Scotus as St. Paul was forced to play without 6-foot-2 Hayley Fox, who was out with an injury.
Spencer scored a game-high 11 points and Lehr added 10.
“We had an advantage inside on them,” Scotus head coach Jarrod Ridder said.
It was an advantage Scotus went to early and often, leading 17-2 after eight minutes of play. Lehr and Spencer combined for 14 of those 17 points. The Shamrocks shut out the Wildcats in the second quarter and took a 28-2 lead into halftime. Lehr scored all of her points in the first half and Spencer added just a single free throw after the break.
St. Paul knocked down three of its four field goals for the game in the third quarter and scored nine points in the period before the Shamrocks pitched another shutout in the fourth quarter.
“We were able to pressure them and speed them up a little bit,” Ridder said. “We did a nice job playing our defense.”
After a bad home loss last Friday against Pierce, Scotus bounced back with two wins to go into the holiday moratorium period with some momentum.
“It’s always nice going into the break playing well and feeling good about yourself,” Ridder said.
The Shamrocks will need to come out of the five-day practice and game layoff playing well, as they take on a Twin River team known for its defense Thursday in the first round of the Columbus Holiday Tournament.
“They’re a tough team and play good man-to-man defense,” Ridder said. “We just need to be able to execute.”