The SCA Varsity Girls' Basketball Team played host to the Northwest Christian School Crusaders, who began the evening on top of the 3A North Central Region, on Monday evening.
Coach Alan Mitchell responded to a physically imposing Crusader squad by choosing a starting lineup of senior Kathryn Dick (#35), juniors Brooke Hancock (#4), Baylee Tobin (#21), Savannah Cardona (#22) and Lily Richardson (#44).
Northwest easily won the tip, towering over the Eagles at every position, and began the game with methodical efforts to work the ball inside. SCA’s increasingly proficient defense, however, proved sufficient to stifle the Crusaders, forcing turnovers and winning steals. And once SCA had the ball, Savannah Cardona proceeded to savage Northwest with a white-hot offensive performance of thrilling proportions. Savannah Cardona scored without let or hindrance, including step-back three pointers, catch-and-shoot treys, transition threes, fast break conversions, slashing cuts inside off the ball, and from the charity stripe. When the quarter ended and the fans’ eyeballs had stopped spinning in their skulls, SCA held a 16-6 lead, with Savannah Cardona scoring every single point.
Given their recent ferocious treatment, the Crusaders were justifiably concerned with tracking Savannah Cardona on defense in the second quarter. In their panic to account for her, however, they permitted Kathryn Dick to take open jumpers and create her own shots off the bounce and for Lily Richardson and sophomore Ana Faustinos (#32) to pick their defense apart with strong drives and creative inside passing. When Savannah Cardona went to the bench to rest her scorching shooting hand, Baylee Tobin converted Lily Richardson's entry passes and Brooke Hancock put away offensive rebounding opportunities, and the Eagles went into the locker room up 28-11.
The second half could never replicate the astonishing offensive performance of the first; nevertheless, the Eagles continued to perform well offensively under the careful direction of Lily Richardson and with strong team and individual defensive demonstrations. Ana Faustinos maintained a shoot-on-sight policy to score in the lane, Baylee Tobin won free throws through diligent efforts on the offensive boards, Kathryn Dick and Savannah Cardona knocked down threes, and Kathryn Dick was perfect from the free throw line as SCA took a 39-19 lead into the final frame.
On defense the Eagles never permitted the Crusaders to operate any sort of fluid attack. Kathryn Dick took a charge, blocked shots and clogged the lane, while Baylee Tobin deflected pass after pass and also rejected shots. Freshman Julia Claus (#10) pitched in on the defensive boards, while Ana Faustinos lived in the Northwest passing lanes, Savannah Cardona swept up loose balls, and Brooke Hancock seized control on anything offered to her. Coach Mitchell worked freshmen Ashlyn Fink (#25) and Bree Tobin (#3) into the lineup to gain valuable experience against a 3A opponent.
Meanwhile on offense Lily Richardson was also perfect from the line and excited the fans with a drive-and-kick assist to Brooke Hancock in the short corner, junior Allyson Lund (#11) converted on the offensive boards, Savannah Cardona enjoyed more three-point success, and Baylee Tobin showed good touch in the half-court offense as the Eagles took home a comprehensive 50-27 victory. Notably Savannah Cardona scored 22 points on almost 60% effective field goal shooting for the game as SCA moved to 5-4 on the season in satisfying fashion.
Join the SCA Varsity Girls' Basketball Team as they host a new entry to the AIA Class 2A Metro Region, the NFL YET Academy, on Thursday, February 18 at 5:30PM.