DELPHOS — If a team’s defense is hustling and creating turnovers by the opposition, usually good things happen. Shawnee forced 36 turnovers from Delphos St. Johns on their way to a 46-40 nonleague win at St. John’s.
“We want to make that a staple of our program (defensive pressure),” Shawnee coach Paul Moss said. “We played very aggressive. Defensively we were able to slow them down a little bit. I know they (St. John’s) are a young team and hats off to them for keeping it close the whole game.”
Shawnee (3-4) got off to a hot start with junior guard Rachel Evans scoring the first five points for the Indians. Shawnee forced 10 first-quarter turnovers from St. Johns and led 11-6 after one.
“Right from the start I was feeling really energetic and we had good momentum,” Evans said. “We came out and played really well together.”
St. Johns (3-3) began to chip away at Shawnee’s lead at the beginning of the second quarter as Lexie Hays sank both of her free throws to begin the quarter and a few minutes later Sydney Fischbach scored and was fouled to narrow the deficit to 12-11 with 5:51 left in the quarter.
The Blue Jays tied it for the first time when Brooke Zuber scored to make the score 13-13 with 3:05 left in the half.
Kaitlyn Gronas responded for the Indians by getting to the basket for a layup to make the score 15-13. Fischbach scored again to tie it at 15 with 57 seconds remaining.
Gronas then drilled a three-pointer to give the Indians an 18-15 lead at halftime.
The Blue Jays turned the ball over 19 times in the first half while the Indians had 13 turnovers.
The third quarter provided more scoring than the first two quarters. Shawnee scored 16 in the period while St. Johns scored 14. Shawnee led 34-29 heading into the fourth.
Maryssa Herschler scored the first points of the period for the Indians. Erica Saine responded by drawing a foul and sinking both of her free throws to make the score 36-31 with 7:11 left in the game.
Shawnee’s defensive pressure proved to be too much for St. John’s as the Blue Jays turned it over six more times in the final quarter.
Evans led Shawnee with 11 points. Herschler added nine points for Shawnee while Claire Dahlke scored eight. Gronas and Jaden Marlowe both had seven for the Indians.
“The main thing we did was slow our offense down and get good looks,” Moss said. “We thought we had an advantage with our inside game and we also had some good shooters.”
Hays led the Blue Jays in scoring with 11 points while Sydney Fischbach and Emilie Fischbach both had seven.
“We didn’t do a very good job of recognizing where we need to put the ball,” St. Johns coach Dan Grothouse said. “Our guards didn’t make good decisions. They did a good job of coming from behind us and we didn’t feel their pressure. They did a good job keeping us off balance.”