REDMOND — Turnovers and rebounding made for a long night after a long trip to Redmond on Dec. 6 for the St. Helens girls basketball team.
The Panthers never trailed en route to a 61-48 victory that raised their record to 3-0.
St. Helens dropped to 2-1.
"I was pleased with the effort the entire game," first-year Lions coach Michael Fendall said. "We just didn't quite execute like we wanted to, and we turned it over too much, gave up too many offensive rebounds, and that's how you lose games. Turnovers and offensive rebounds give extra shots to the other team, and that's a deal breaker."
Maddie Holm led the Lions with 24 points.
"It's still preseason, and you win some and you lose some," she said. "Now we know what we need to work on for sure."
Holm had eight points in the first quarter, and McKayla Foster and Kaela Lee each gave the Lions a basket as they cut an 11-4 deficit to 15-12 by the end of the frame.
The Lions trailed 18-16 with three minutes left in the half, but went to the break down 26-18 and were behind 44-33 through three quarters.
Any chance St. Helens had of making a late rally went away when Holm fouled out with 3:28 remaining and Redmond on top 50-42. That was as close as the Lions would come down the stretch.
Redmond pressed full-court the entire contest, forcing the Lions into many of their 32 turnovers.
"We were making a little push (and) got them to turn the ball over and then we just gave it right pack," Fendall said. "We had faced some pressure in our previous games, but I guess not to that degree, intensity or ability level, whatever you want to call it. It had us really frazzled, rushing our passes."
Maria Reardon finished with seven points for the Lions. Foster scored six points, and Emelia Paullus had five.
Good shooting kept St. Helens in contention. The Lions were 19 of 47 (40.4 percent) from the floor. The Panthers were 22 of 78 (28.2 percent).
St. Helens was able to get to the free-throw line just five times, however, despite the aggressive Panthers defense. The Lions made 4 of 5. Redmond went to the line 19 times and made nine, including seven in the fourth quarter.
"The loss was unfortunate, and we are all disappointed," Fendall said. "But it's early in the season so sometimes things like this are good for you. It's a reality check of sorts."
Holm also had five blocked shots and 11 rebounds, but Redmond won the battle of the boards 42-34.
"This was our worst game turnover-wise," Holm said. "There is always room for improvement. There is always room to get better, and that's what we are going to do.
The St. Helens Tournament is Saturday at the school. St. Helens will play Gresham in the 10 a.m. opener. Aloha and McKay will meet at 11:45 a.m. The morning game winners will face off at 1:30 p.m., and the winners will collide for the championship at 3:15 p.m.
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