St. Clair couldn’t have started its girls basketball season any better.
The Lady Bulldogs (3-0) secured a first-place finish at the Clayton Round-Robin Tournament with a 47-21 win Thursday over the host Lady Greyhounds.
The signature win of the tournament for the Lady Bulldogs came Monday, where they knocked off defending tournament champion Principia, 49-43.
St. Clair followed with a 51-32 win Wednesday over McCluer North.
“It was an excellent effort all week. I was really impressed with how well we have been adapting to our new roles after losing several players from last year,” said St. Clair Head Coach Jena Carroll. “It’s nice to see this year’s team step up and take charge. It’s great to come out of your first week with three wins. Everybody worked really hard and put forth a solid team effort.”
St. Clair started fast and established an early lead in all three of its tournament games.
Against Clayton, the Lady Bulldogs took control with a 17-4 lead after the opening quarter.
St. Clair cruised from there, leading 26-10 at halftime and 34-16 after three quarters.
“We came out really strong from the beginning and got a nice lead,” Carroll said. “We had several steals, pushed the floor really well and came up with some easy baskets to get out ahead 17-4 after the first quarter.”
Sam Deason led a balanced scoring attack for the Lady Bulldogs with 14 points.
Karissa Hoffman and Allison Hinson both added nine points.
Alicia York and Anna Reed both registered six points.
Kayla Klenke scored two points. Katelyn Guehne had one point.
“Allison had a lot of deflections and the rest of the players were there to grab possession and score,” Carroll said. “We played solid defense all night, holding them to no more than six points per quarter.”
Hoffman had a big game for St. Clair against McCluer North, finishing with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
“It was another hard battle. We had a really good start and came out quick. We were also able to hold them to two field goals in the first eight minutes to get out ahead,” Carroll said. “Offensively, things were running really smoothly and we were hitting some key shots.”
Hinson finished the game with 12 points and six steals.
Klenke added seven points. York scored six points.
Deason pitched in with five points. Guehne scored two points. Reed had one point.
St. Clair again took control of the game early, leading 16-6 after one quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs led 31-17 at halftime and 38-20 after three quarters.
St. Clair returns to action for its home opener against Waynesville Friday, Dec. 7, at 6 p.m.