Defensive pressure puts Cardinals behind versus Zephyrs
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT — After taking a commanding victory against Marion to start the year, Pacelli hosted its first home game against St Mary Catholic on Nov. 29. The Cardinals got out to an early lead, but the Zephyrs picked up the defensive intensity. Pacelli lost the home opener 55-35.
The Cardinals threw the first punch, taking a few steals and getting ahead 5-2. Pacelli’s aggressiveness toward the hoop was a difference-maker. The Zephyrs picked up six team fouls in the first eight minutes. Pacelli’s zone got stretched out with the shooting of St Mary Catholic, turning a 9-9 game into a 9-14 game. Junior Casey Vaughn stopped that run with a transition three. She finished with six points.
Pacelli struggled with taking care of the ball late in the first half. Two fouls from senior Amelia Jacoby put her on the bench, and the Zephyrs took advantage. They took a double-digit lead into the break, 27-14. Much of the same defensive pressure occurred to start the second half. St Mary Catholic extended the lead to over 20 points in the early stages of the second stanza. Even though Pacelli struggled, there were bright spots in the loss. Senior Ashley Shizel scored all five of her points in the second half, getting in space against a suffocating defense.
Secondly, senior Amelia Jacoby and sophomore Kaylin Yenter were great together on the floor. The two combined for 23 points and 17 rebounds. Jacoby led the team with 14 points. Their presence inside helped with rebounding on both ends.
The Cardinals’ next home game is on Dec. 2 against Port Edwards. The tip-off is at 7:15.