Lady Pios pull away from North Vermilion
Notre Dame’s Gabbie Romero picks up a steal Monday during the Lady Pios’ 43-27 victory over North Vermilion. Romero scored a game-high 20 points in the contest.
LEROY – The North Vermilion Lady Patriots gave the Notre Dame Lady Pios all they could handle and more Monday in the District 6-3A opener for both squads.
For a little while, anyway.
The Lady Patriots trailed just 16-14 at the half and they had the Lady Pios flustered for just about the entire first two periods.
That all changed in the third quarter.
Notre Dame’s Gabbie Romero drained a pair of 3-pointers, sparking an 18-5 run in the third quarter and the Lady Pios went on from there to a claim a 43-27 victory.
It was the seventh straight win for the Lady Pios, who improved to 14-4 overall and 1-0 in league play. The Lady Patriots fell to 5-14 and 0-1.
“We just weren’t real patient early on,” said Notre Dame coach Nolan Theriot, whose team was just six of 27 from the floor in the first half. “We scored on four of 15 possessions in the first quarter and that’s just not very good. In the second quarter, we scored on two of 12 possessions. We were taking the first open look we got and we just weren’t attacking the basket.”
Obviously, the Lady Patriots had the Lady Pios attention and the Lady Pios responded in the third quarter.
Madelyn LeJeune hit a shot in the lane to start the frame and Romero drained a 3-pointer and a short jumper to push the Lady Pios’ lead to 23-14 with 5:56 remaining in the frame.
The Lady Pios then went on a 9-0 run in the final three minutes behind four points from Elise LeBeouf and another 3-pointer from Romero to take a comfortable 34-18 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We really did a good job of being patient and knocking down shots in the third quarter,” said Theriot. “We did a much better job of committing ourselves to running offense in the third quarter than we did in the first half.
“Gabbie hit a couple of big threes and Madelyn and Elise had a couple of big buckets for us there in the third. When we hit a couple shots and got up, we forced the tempo for them to come out and play us.
“We started out the second half running and executing our offense and I thought we were a lot more patient and allowed ourselves to attack the basket instead of just settling for that one pass, two-pass shot.”
The Lady Pios spread the court in the fourth quarter and ran clock for most of the frame.
“In the fourth quarter, we weren’t attacking the basket because, obviously, we were looking at the bigger picture,” said Theriot. “Could we have attacked the basket? Yes. But we needed to work on things that we are going to need down the road and playoff time.
“I felt that we got a little lazy in the fourth quarter and allowed them to attack the basket on us and get some layups. Any layup to me is bad, defensively, on our part because we know what we should be doing. So to give up eight points in the fourth quarter on layups, that’s four bad possessions because we should have made them shoot jump shots.”
The positives, however, outweighed the negatives, said Theriot.
“I don’t know many coaches that would be disappointed with a 16-point victory,” said Theriot. “We are expecting ourselves to play at a higher level, but we are pleased with the fact that we are 1-0 in district. Anytime you can get a road win against a well-coached and well-prepared team, it’s good and it’s a good win for us.”
The Lady Pios will be in action again Friday when they play host to Kaplan.
“We’re real pleased that we started off the district well,” said Theriot. “It’s the second season of the year and I felt like we competed well during out non-district schedule. Now, we just have to take care of the games that we need to take care of, especially at home. We need to refocus and play the caliber ball that we are capable of playing.”