While Cardinal Ritter defeated Washington for the Borgia Girls Basketball Tournament consolation Saturday, 50-46, there was quite a bit more to the story.
For the Lady Jays (10-10) to be able to play competitively with the 13-win Lady Lions was a minor miracle.
Washington was without several regulars for the game due to illness or injury. In fact, Head Coach Adam Fischer had to dip into his junior varsity roster to be able to field a team.
“We were a little shorthanded this afternoon against Cardinal Ritter,” Fischer said. “Kirstie Leslie is sick, Hannah Leslie is sick, Alex Ready is out for the year (ankle), and Rachel Kackley also missed the game.”
That left Washington with a young and somewhat inexperienced team at times.
“At one point in the game I had two freshmen, two sophomores, and one junior on the floor,” Fischer said. “Three of those five girls had zero to very minimal varsity playing time.”
That included a last-minute call-up, sophomore Morgan Buddemeyer.
“Morgan Buddemeyer was called up about 40 minutes prior to tip off and did an excellent job for the team,” Fischer said. “She played hard defense, blocked out well, and rebounded well.
Two others with varying varsity experience also played well, Fischer said.
“Katie Trigg and Megan Freitag handled the pressure of Cardinal Ritter very well and also they both played solid defense for us,” said Fischer. “Megan Freitag also did an excellent job rebounding the ball against the taller frontline players for Ritter.”
Fischer said it would have been easy for Washington to fold under the adversity.
“Our team could have hung their heads with all the bodies we had missing, but we didn’t,” said Fischer. “We played extremely hard and hung in there all game. Being down 12-14 points to start the fourth quarter was not an easy task, but we almost came back and took the lead. I am very proud of all the girls who played this afternoon.”
Additionally, Washington had one player, junior Courtney Kedroski, named to the all-tournament team.
Despite being so shorthanded, Washington actually led 15-14 after one quarter.
Cardinal Ritter stormed back in the second quarter, holding Washington to just four points while netting 16. That put the Lady Lions up at the break, 30-19.
Cardinal Ritter increased the lead to 44-32 after three quarters, but Washington came back to close within three points, 49-46, on a basket by freshman Paige Carpenter with 42.6 seconds to play.
Cardinal Ritter was able to hold on and win by four points, 50-46.
Senior Kaitlin Evans led the Lady Jays in scoring with 12 points.
She hit six of seven chances from the free-throw line and added seven rebounds, two steals and an assist. She fouled out in the final five seconds.
Kedroski scored nine points while adding four steals, three assists and three rebounds.
Senior Helena Ballmann scored eight points while adding four rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Carpenter also ended with eight points and added an assist, a rebound and a steal.
Trigg scored five points.
Junior Megan Bauche scored four points along with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Freitag contributed five rebounds, four steals and two assists.
Buddemeyer did not score.
Jayla Davis led Cardinal Ritter in scoring with 13 points.
Also hitting double digits was Kadja Brown with 10 points.
Chastity Franklin, Andranae Wash and Brittany Wilbert scored six points apiece. Rachael Covington closed with five while Cayla Yates scored four points for the Lady Lions.
Washington returns to action Friday with a Gateway Athletic Conference Central Division home game against Ft. Zumwalt North. That’s a boys-girls doubleheader with the varsity girls game starting at 6 p.m.