Incarnate Word scored a decisive victory against the Lady Jays in the first round of the Webster Winter Challenge.
The Red Knights (15-4), ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 4, topped Washington (10-8), 72-39, in the opening round contest at Webster Groves Wednesday.
It marks the second year in a row that Incarnate Word has knocked Washington from the championship path at the tournament, having also edged the Lady Jays by three in last year’s semifinals.
Incarnate Word led 20-8 at the end of the first period Wednesday.
The Red Knights expanded that lead to 40-21 at the half.
Washington trailed 53-34 after three quarters.
“We hung in there until the fourth quarter, but then wow, they’re just a really good team,” Washington Head Coach Doug Light said. “... There are a couple of things you just don’t try to do against their defense and our girls did those things well.
The Lady Jays were led in scoring by Jackie Arnold with 14 points.
Her twin sister, Reese Arnold, was the only other player to get into double figures for Washington, scoring 12 points.
Nichole Brinker added five points. Brooke Robinson scored four.
Bria Hasenjaeger and Jessie Huxol each chipped in with two points.
The leading scorer for the Red Knights was 6-3 forward Rickie Woltman with 21 points.
Light said Woltman creates a matchup problem the way the Red Knights are able to feed her passes up high and then have her go straight up to the rim.
“They’ve got some three-point shooters too,” Light said. “You kind of hope that if they’re going inside like that then they’re not also making it from the outside, but that wasn’t the case.”
Incarnate Word put through five three point shots to Washington’s three.
Two of Woltman’s Red Knight teammates got into double digits as well. Nakayla Jackson Morris posted 14 points and Kate Rolfes scored 11.
Sonya Morris added nine points for Incarnate Word.
Other scorers included Ellie Vazanna with six points, Tyler Flowers with four, Sam Eaker with three, Drew Kell with two and Marissa Warren with two.