The Holy Rosary High School Raiders junior girls basketball team, with back row from left, assistant coach Maggie Rusteika, assistant coach Les Hanson, Chloe Doucette, Thora Hundeby, Halle Hanson, Gracie Green, Sharidyn Schiller, coach Becky Grassl; front row, Julia Freeman, Sarah Schwab, Ella Sikora and Casey Winterhalt, beat the St. Jerome’s School Spartans 52-31 on Saturday. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO
The Holy Rosary High School junior girls basketball team saved their best for last.
The Raiders pulled away from the Vermilion St. Jerome’s School Spartans in the second half to post a dominant 52-31 win in their final game of the season at the Holy Rosary gym on Saturday afternoon.
Raiders’ guards Sarah Schwab and Chloe Doucette led the third and fourth quarter surge offensively, but it was a stifling defence and a strong showing from their bench that got the team a win.
“Without the full team working hard, you can’t have the same results that we had,” said Raiders guard Sharidyn Schiller. “We have to all work together, fix each other’s mistakes and point them out to really be a team and win the game.”
The Raiders and Spartans exchanged points during the first quarter leading to a 12-11 home-side advantage after eight minutes.
A bit of foul trouble for the Spartans helped the Raiders gain an edge midway through the second frame with Doucette, Gracie Green and Halle Hanson knocking down successive free throws to give their club a 16-11 lead.
Schwab then went to work setting up Doucette and Ella Sikora inside for a couple of easy baskets. Spartans point guard Gracie Sweeney willed her team back into the game late in the half on a jumper off the glass, four good foul shots and a basket from inside the key to bring the score to 27-19 by the break.
Leading the way for the Raiders in the opening half was the strong work employed under the basket by posts Hanson, Thora Hundeby and Green. When the Spartans did get a defensive rebound, the Raiders guards were waiting in close to stop the transition to offense.
“We’ve done good,” said Hanson. “We’ve improved together throughout the season and I feel like there is always going to be more improvement. We really rose up to the challenges that we faced along the way.”
Doucette started the third quarter with two good free throws, an offensive rebound put back and a short lay up to give the Raiders a quick 33-19 lead.
Schwab scored on a series of cross-court drives to the rim during the latter stages of the frame and the opening moments of the fourth to set up a 48-26 advantage.
Hanson, Hundeby and Green took over from there with the former two scoring late after collecting a couple more rebounds under the Spartans basket. Schiller set up Green inside for the final points of the Raiders season.
“I feel like this just gets us more excited to start up next season because we ended on a good note,” said Schiller. “That just makes everyone want to play even more.”