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St. Paul junior Sophia Albertini drives hard to the bucket during the first half the Indians' victory over visiting Olpe Friday night.

MATT RESNICK

ST. PAUL — A dominant defensive performance handed the St. Paul Indians one of its most impressive victories of the past several seasons — a 42-30 triumph over the visiting Olpe Eagles.

The convincing win ups the Indians to 5-0 on the young season.

Having inked a scholarship with Neosho County Community College on Thursday, Emerald Struthers-O’Brien dropped in 10 of the Indians’ 14 first quarter points. Struthers was also accurate from long-range, drilling a pair of 3-pointers.

Emerald hit those two threes to get our momentum going in the first quarter,” said first-year St. Paul head coach Calea Augustin.

Josie Harris’ mid-range jumper near the midpoint of the second quarter stretched the Indians’ advantage to 17. St. Paul continued to pour early in the third, as buckets from Struthers O’Brien, Josie Harris and Elise Doherty put the Indians on top 34-13.

From there, however, St. Paul endured an extended offensive drought, as the Eagles finished the contest on a 15-6 run, trimming their deficit to 12 as the final horn sounded.

“We definitely lost some momentum in the third quarter and got into foul trouble,” Augustin said. “We were struggling and forcing things that weren’t there. And we did get tired towards the end of the game and committed some fouls, so we’ll have to get better at finishing games without foul trouble.” 

Augustin was particularly pleased with her squad’s suffocating man-to-man and man-press defense. Augustin said St. Paul’s game plan centered on containing Olpe sophomore Milly Bailey. Bailey, however, departed the contest early with an injury.

“We were solid on the defensive end and really prevented them from scoring inside,” Augustin said. “Elise and Josey really stepped up and played well defensively tonight.”

Augustin is hopeful her squad will build on its conditioning over winter break. 

“We’re going to have to have some good practices over break,” she said. “So just staying in shape over break, and working on the little things.”

Up Next

St. Paul returns to the court Jan. 4 for a home clash with Southeast (Cherokee) High School.  

St. Paul 42, Olpe 30

Olpe High: 4  8  8  10 — 30

St. Paul:   14 11 11  6 — 42

Scoring

St. Paul: Emerald Struthers- O'Brien 16, Elise Doherty 13, Claire Bradshaw 7, Sophie Albertini 2, Josie Harris 2, Gennie Vitt 2

Olpe: Grace Coughlin 10, Jenna Smith 6, Ava Clark 5, Kadey Robert 4, Makenna Broyles 3, Addy Scheve 2

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