Looking to knock off one of the top girls basketball programs in the state, Pacific fell short in a home Four Rivers Conference contest Thursday against St. James.
The Lady Indians (11-7, 1-2) had the game tied at halftime, but St. James took over down the stretch for a 57-45 victory at Pacific High School.
St. James (19-1, 3-0) is ranked second behind Hermann in the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Class 3 state poll.
“It was tied with about three minutes left in the third quarter and we just turned it off and let them take over. It was just like the Sullivan game at the Lindbergh Tournament,” said Pacific Head Coach Josh Spuhl. “We didn’t quit. It’s hard to play without practicing and going to school the last three days.”
The Lady Tigers led 14-12 after one quarter and the game was tied 26-26 at halftime.
The difference came in the third quarter, where St. James outscored Pacific, 24-9.
“I was happy with how we played in the first half and most of the second half,” Spuhl said. “There was a three-minute spurt in the third quarter where they took off. They picked up the pressure big time in the second half. We got away from our press breaker and they scored. We guarded their shooters in the first half and held them to one three. They made a lot more in the second half.”
Ashley Hill led the way for the Lady Indians with 17 points on 7-8 shooting from the field. She added four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Kya Hill collected 14 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Hunter Kelemen registered six points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Meagan Wakefield added six points, three rebounds and two assists.
Kate Cookson finished with two points and nine rebounds.
Also playing were Brigid Toney, Charla Jackson and Katy Brown.
The Lady Indians shot 43 percent from the field.
St. James’ statistics were not available at press time.
“Ashley played great. She did a good job attacking,” Spuhl said. “Hunter shot the ball well. That’s a good sign. We’re still without one of our starters, Ellen Rogers, so that hurt. Kya came to life in the fourth quarter.”
It’s another challenging week ahead for the Lady Indians with FRC games Monday at Owensville and Thursday at home against Sullivan. Junior varsity games will start at 5:30 p.m.
“It’s hard because we’re in these games against St. James and Sullivan,” Spuhl said. “We’ll keep working and hopefully be on the other side of it at the end of the season.”