Girls basketball: Bucks bring the defense in back-to-back wins
The St. Paul girls basketball team opened the first week of preseason play with a pair of convincing road victories, defeating the Scio Loggers 47-22 on Nov. 29 and the Colton Vikings 55-33 on Friday.
Led by a strong defensive effort in both games, the Buckaroos forced 27 turnovers against the Loggers and 21 more against the Vikings, taking down both 3A opponents by comfortable margins.
"We ran the court well tonight; in the second half, they kind of came back and we got a little scared, but we were able to finish it out," St. Paul sophomore post Erin Counts said after the win over Colton. "They pressured us a little, and I think we weren't used to that, but we set out to be stronger, and we were."
Counts had a big game, leading the team with 17 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and five steals. Sophomore teammate Isabelle Wyss was the beneficiary of many of Counts' passes, scoring a game-high 27 points on 9-of-20 shooting while converting from the free throw line on 9-of-12 attempts to go along with 11 rebounds.
The victory was a repeat performance of the Buckaroos' season opener, as the team tallied 20 steals in a runaway victory over the Loggers. Counts had another double-double in the win, picking up 14 points and 10 rebounds to go along with four steals and four assists.
Junior guard Emma Connor had 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists, while Wyss chipped in 11 points in the victory.
"Moving forward, we want to be stronger with the ball and know when to pass it," Counts said. "We're feeling good, this was a strong game, but we still need to improve and keep moving forward."
The Bucks (2-0) travel to Gervais on Wednesday and play in the Southwest Christian Tournament this weekend. St. Paul plays its home opener on Dec. 12 against Colton.