By ERIC VICCARO
The Ste. Genevieve High School girls’ basketball team is becoming more competitive by the game.
That much was evident during the 49th Annual Valle Catholic Tournament last week, with the Dragons losing three games by single digits.
Optimists will say the pay off is coming soon, with that pay off victory — of course.
“The girls really stepped up this week, and you can tell they are getting better each day,” said Ste. Genevieve head coach Jordanna Walk-Robison.
St. Paul defeated Ste. Genevieve with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer on Monday, Nov. 29. St. Vincent topped Ste. Genevieve, 41-38, Wednesday.
In a tournament version of the “Old Settlement Showdown” last Thursday, Valle Catholic outscored Ste. Genevieve 15-4 during the fourth quarter — pulling away for a 38-30 victory.
“Ste. Genevieve being winless entering the night never once fazed us,” Valle Catholic head coach Brian Bauman said. “In fact, it may have concerned me more.”
Bauman complimented Ste. Genevieve (0-5) on its in-your-face defense.
“I knew they’d present a challenge,” Bauman continued. “Ste. Genevieve’s hustle and will was stronger than ours, and that presented a problem the entire game.”
Alli Byington, who was named to the all-tournament team, and teammate Regean Naeger both canned 3-pointers in the opening quarter — helping the Dragons to a 12-10 lead.
Chloe Staffen connected on a shot from the wing to deadlock the score at halftime, 17-all.
Kiki Asher made a jumper from the elbow, propelling Ste. Genevieve to a 26-23 advantage at the end of three periods.
Valle Catholic eventually found its inside game during the fourth period, pulling away for the win.
Byington scored double-digit points in all three tournament games, much to the delight of Walk-Robison.
“Alli had a good tournament offensively and defensively,” the coach commented. “She has made a lot of progress so far this year, and is feeling more confident in her abilities.”
Byington finished with 15 points versus Valle Catholic, including three 3-pointers, to go with eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Naeger added eight points, which included a pair of trifectas, plus five rebounds.
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