Riders Win Home Finale

St. Marys' Lauren Cisco goes in for a layup in the third quarter of a non-league girls basketball game against Parkway on Saturday.
Sports Editor

In their final home game of the regular season, the St. Marys Roughriders girls basketball team looked to fine tune their play with the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s tournament two weeks away in the Riders’ 55-38 non-league win against Parkway on Saturday.

After a somewhat slow start that saw St. Marys lead by just nine in the first half against a three-win Parkway team, the Roughriders opened the second half by scoring on their first four possessions compared to the Panthers’ lone bucket during that span as the Riders outscored the Panthers 32-24 in the second half and 22-13 in the third quarter.

“Our shots weren’t always going down, but we had good looks,” Roughriders coach Jon Burke said. “Lauren (Cisco) took a little bit to get going but once she did, we really took off. Offensively, we have to be better at getting out in transition like we were in the second half, compared to the first half — I thought that’s what made the difference in the second half. We were getting some turnovers, getting some rebounds and passing the ball well in transition.”

Leading 23-14 entering the third quarter, Kendall Dieringer scored six of the Roughriders’ first eight points 38 seconds in on a pair of 3-pointers — with Elena Menker’s jumper sandwiched in between — to push St. Marys’ lead to 30-16.

Following a missed 3-pointer by Parkway, Haley Felver scored in transition to net the Riders a 32-16 lead with 5:58 left, and prompting Parkway to call timeout. With the help of ball movement, Lauren Cisco connected on a pair of triples after that as St. Marys eventually pushed its lead to 43-23 with 2:15 remaining in the quarter.

Cisco led the Roughriders with 12 points, followed by 10 points from Felver. In his attempt to work the paint more as the postseason nears, Burke put extra work in for Kathryn Elshoff and Noelle Raune. Ruane finished with seven points and Elshoff — playing in her final game at Memorial High School — added a season-high four points.
“We wanted to work more on paint touches, patience after getting a rebound and not going up and panicking for a shot right away,” Burke said. “We didn’t do that well today, but this is a young team and we are constantly trying to find new levels.”

The Roughriders also got a win in the junior varsity game 41-11.

St. Marys will close out the regular season at Defiance on Thursday before the Division II sectional playoffs begin Feb. 20. The Roughriders — the No. 4 seed in the Paulding District — will play the winner of the sectional semifinal matchup between Bryan (9-9) and Shawnee (3-15) at 8 p.m. Feb. 23 at Spencerville High School.