Monarchs trounce Huskies
The Aquinas boys and girls basketball teams swept the visiting Shleby-Rising City Huskies in a pair of contests on the hardwood Dec. 20.
The Monarch girls jumped out to a 20-2 lead in the first quarter and shut down the Husky offense to the tune of only eight total points in a dominant 53-8 win.
The Aquinas boys slightly outdid their female classmates, starting with a 19-0 lead ahead of a 62-42 victory.
“A game like that you just ask the girls to come out and execute and be focused, and I think we did those two things,” Aquinas girls head coach Tony Smith after the game. “We executed the things we wanted to execute and we were really focused.”
Aquinas’ Breanna Stouffer scored a team-high 21 points during the victory shooting 7 for 9 from the field.
The Monarchs, who feature nine seniors on the roster, improved to 4-2 with the win.
“They’re 10 deep,” said Shelby-Rising City head coach Turner Trofholz. “They’re a really good basketball team. They’re very solid. Coach Smith has them very fundamentally sound. They’ve played together forever. They know how to play together and they move the ball. They run, they do a great job defensively. They just played really well tonight to beat us.”
Both teams were preparing for the holiday break and a break from the busy season.
“The girls really did a good job (of staying focused) I could hardly even tell that they were in finals week,” Smith said. We shorten up our practices this week just a little bit to keep them sharp.
“Yesterday that’s all we did. It was execution. We want to be executing and staying focused and get out of here really quick. Knowing that we have a big game after Shelby-Rising City helped a lot. We were focused on making sure we were ready to play that game as well.”
The Monarchs were hot right from the beginning. Stoufffer sank a 3-pointer then Vrbka Micaiah knocked down another for a 6-0 lead right out of the gate.
S-RC’s Taylor Potter stopped the initial run, but it was the only Husky points of the quarter.
“We got very passive offensively,” Trofholz said. “Obviously, we only scored eight. If we could just square up and get going to the hoop and be more aggressive in that aspect better things could happen for us out of our offense.”
In the boys game, Daniel Stara produced a game-high 17 points while leading Aquinas to the 20-point win.
“Shelby is a good team and we knew that it was going to be a battle the entire game,” Stara said. “We were all as a team hoping to get out on a good start and get a jump on them to set the tone for the game.”
It took until the final minute of the first quarter for Shelby-Rising City to finally find some points. Jett Pinneo made a shot to end the 19-0 run.
He added five more points before the horn, but his side trailed 21-7 with just eight minutes played.
″(Jet) knows he’s the leader out there,” said Shelby-Rising City head coach Grant Gable. “He’s got to distribute the ball, and he does a good job of that and making big plays when we need a bucket.
...(Pinneo) is the floor general, and he’s got to be able to read and react and put the ball in the right hands.”
S-RC put together a small comeback in the second quarter. Austin Coffin brought the score within five points after scoring eight on consecutive possessions. It was as close as the Huskies managed to come the rest of the way.
“We spotted them 20 points and got beat by 20,” Gable said. “I thought the kids did a good job there in the second quarter battling back, getting back into the game. I think we lost a lot of energy there in the second quarter doing everything we could to get back into it.
“The kids fought hard. In the end there in the third and fourth quarter, they just made more plays down the stretch than we did.”
Weiss said he was happy with Aquinas’ first-quarter performance, but was still looking for areas of improvement.
“I thought in the first quarter we came out doing what we were supposed to do,” he said. “We came out and attacked them, and we didn’t settle for 3s. On the defensive end, we were doing well. We weren’t allowing them to get the offensive boards. They were getting tough shots and we rebounded well.
...“I thought we made good progress on the defensive end. We were diving on the floor. Just the little things we we’re doing better today.”
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net