Lady Pios rally past St. Thomas More
LAFAYETTE – St. Thomas More had the Notre Dame Lady Pios exactly where they wanted them in the first half Tuesday evening.
The host Lady Cougars slowed the tempo and flustered the Lady Pios in the first two quarters en route to taking a 17-10 advantage at the break.
But after some halftime adjustments and a staggering defense that forced turnover after turnover, the Lady Pios roared back and went on a 34-8 run in the final two frames to take a dominating 44-25 victory over the Lady Cougars.
“They defended us with the ball in the first half,” said ND coach Nolan Theriot, whose squad improved to 5-0 with the victory. “They ran sort of a stall and used ball control to limit possessions and we just weren’t executing early on. We probably had at least a third less possessions than we are used to in the first half, if not more.
“We were just pressing too much and trying to win the game with one shot.”
The Lady Pios trailed just 9-8 in the first quarter, but they managed just two points in the second frame on a shot in the lane from Madelyn LeJeune.
The second half, however, was all Notre Dame.
The Lady Pios were able to pressure the Lady Cougars into turnovers and get things going in transition in the third quarter. Sam Lyons poured in eight points in the period to help ignite a 24-6 run.
“They (STM) have two girls back from last year’s state championship team so I wanted the ball out of their hands and I wanted to force the other three to make plays,” said Theriot. “In the third quarter, we started to adjust and listen to the game plan and we started making steals based off what they were doing.
“What happened was, once we got the ball, I think our conditioning took over because in the second half, you could see as we were running, they weren’t able to keep up. We just relaxed and started knocking down some open shots that we weren’t hitting early and once we did that, it was over.”
The Lady Pios scored just 10 points in the fourth quarter but their defense limited the Lady Cougars to just two.
Theriot says the difference in the game was the defense.
“What I’m most impressed with is, defensively, we shut down a very good team to just eight points in the second half,” he said. “I’m more impressed with the 25 points that we held them to than the 24 points we held Glen Oaks to. I’m very pleased with the effort and that just shows how well we can play when we’re executing what we need to do.
“I mean, STM might not be what they were two or three years ago, but they are still a very good team. It was good us to be challenged like that and to adjust and execute like that.”
LeJeune and Alex Miller led the Lady Pios with 12 and 11 points, respectively while Lyons and Hanna Esthay each had eight. Gabbie Romero pitched in three points and Elise LeBeouf finished with two.
The Lady Pios will face another stiff challenge tonight when they play host to New Iberia Senior High (11-0) at 6 p.m.