Two up and two down.
That was the case for St. Clair girls basketball (2-0) as the team got its second-straight road win to open the season Tuesday night at Cuba (0-1), 72-58.
Much like in the season opening victory at Festus the previous night, The Bulldogs put together a big quarter to jump out ahead big. Against Festus, it wasn’t until the third quarter. Tuesday night, the Lady Bulldogs found their groove in the second period, outscoring Cuba 22-8. They had led 14-13 at the end of the first quarter.
“The girls got on a roll,” Head Coach Mike Scheer said. “We were playing really well defensively and offensively. It’s a good thing that we did because Cuba could really shoot the ball.”
Cuba knocked down 11 three-point shots in the contest, nine of which came in the second half.
The St. Clair lead held at 54-39 going into the final period.
St. Clair point guard Hannah Machelett sat out approximately 75 percent of the first half after getting into early foul trouble. She finished with nine points and Scheer said her performance in the second half was critical to being able to prevent Cuba from coming back from behind.
“She really stepped up and played well for us,” Scheer said. “That was big because Cuba was throwing everything under the sink at us. ...I didn’t think we were playing bad defensively, but they were just hot.”
Haley Buscher led the Lady Bulldogs with 23 points, nine of which came from three-point range. Ten of her points came during the team’s second-quarter surge. She also accounted for 16 of the team’s 25 assists.
Megan Hinson posted 15 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists.
St. Clair also got seven points from Macalyn LaCrone, six from Gracie Sohn, five from Emma Hinson, four from Alana Hinson and three from Makenzie Schmidtke.
Scheer applauded the work of his post players, LaCrone, Schmidtke and Graci Shirey on the boards.
“Those three post girls were huge,” Scheer said. “Maybe not scoring, but with rebounds and defense. Defensively, they allowed us to do some things with the other girls.”
The Lady Bulldogs shot a combined 12-17 from the charity stripe with both Buscher, 4-4, and Sohn, 2-2, each knocking down all of their free-throw attempts.
St. Clair is next in action Saturday against Park Hills Central at the St. James Shootout at 12:30 p.m.