By ERIC VICCARO
The Ste. Genevieve High School girls’ basketball team earned its first victory of the season on Monday, Dec. 13.
Ste. Genevieve did so at the expense of still winless Arcadia Valley, with the Dragons coming out on top, 56-33, at Peggy J. Johnson Gymnasium.
Still, a win is undoubtedly a win — at least for Ste. Genevieve’s young roster.
“The girls were super excited after the game,” Ste. Genevieve head coach Jordanna Walk-Robison said. “They have put so much hard work that it was nice for them to get the win.”
Walk-Robison said she was pleased with the Dragons’ effort on defense, and gave bouquets of praise to junior guard Alli Byington.
“Alli shot the ball really well,” the coach commented. “Her teammates found her, and she was able to convert from deep.”
Byington finished the game with 19 points, including 7-of-11 on field goals (4-of-5 from the land of the 3).
A Byington triple capped off a Dragons’ scoring run in the first half, propelling the team to a 15-6 lead at the 5:33 mark of the second quarter.
Kayden Huck drove the lane for two points with 29.1 ticks left in the second, and Ste. Genevieve was up 27-15 at intermission.
Twice in the third quarter, Arcadia Valley closed within a 10-point deficit of Ste. Genevieve, including 34-24 after a Molly Cook layup.
However, that’s as close as the Tigers would get the rest of the way.
The Dragons spent the fourth quarter building their leading, with freshman guard Chloe Staffen figuring into the mix.
Staffen first scored on a feed from Huck, and later she made a layup — stretching Ste. Genevieve’s lead to 26 points during the final minute of play.
Ava Meyer paced the Dragons in rebounds with eight, four on both the offensive and defensive glass. Staffen pulled down seven rebounds and Kylee Clayton six, including three offensive boards.
There were plenty of other superlatives on this night. Huck recorded a pair of blocked shots. Regean Naeger recorded a team-high five steals. Staffen also dished off three assists. Clayton deflected a pair of Arcadia Valley passes.
Cook paced Arcadia Valley with 15 points, including three made free throws.
In the junior varsity game, Arcadia Valley topped Ste. Genevieve 27-22. Dragons scorers: Sadie Greminger, 2; Karlie Basler, 2; Lexi Warren, 3; Kennedy Buatte, 2; Kiki Asher, 6; Bri Abt, 6; Kayden Huck, 1.
Ste. Genevieve, seeded seventh, has drawn second-seeded host Park Hills Central in the opening round of the 66th Annual Bob Sechrest Christmas Classic.
The Dragons will square off against the Rebels at 1 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 27 at Foulon Field House.
The winner will face Steelville or Fredericktown in the semifinals. The consolation semifinal is scheduled at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 28.
The field also features top-seeded South Iron, Festus, Potosi and Arcadia Valley.
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