AUBURN – Thursday night served as a measuring stick for the St. Dom’s girls’ basketball team, and the Saints had the opportunity to show just how much they’ve grown.

“The team has come along so far,” said senior Malley O’Shea. “We’re playing as a team. Everybody’s working together.”

After losing to Waynflete last month, the Saints avenged that loss with a strong outing in a 39-24 victory. St. Dom’s had lost to the Flyers 51-47 in late December.

“The win was huge for us,” said O’Shea. “We started out the season well, but it’s getting better and better. We’re happy with the improvement.”

Waynflete’s Margaret Veroneau had scored 17 points in the previous win while Miriam Quazi had 22. St. Dom’s held them to four points each in Thursday’s victory. Annie Cutler led the Flyers (6-3) with nine points. Waynflete was ranked sixth in the latest Western C Heal Points, while St. Dom’s was ranked ninth.

“In order to beat them, we had to stop Veroneau,” said St. Dom’s coach Chet Lenfestey. “Our defense was designed to stop her. We held her to four points. That’s a girl that’s averaging 20 to 25 points per game. You can’t ask for anything more. I think that was the key for the game.”

Abby Gilbert led the Saints (7-2) with 11 points while Katie Lyon added 10. Katie Landry chipped in seven.

“Katie Lyon stepped up big inside early in the game,” said Lenfestey. “We’ve had some problems scoring inside, and that was huge tonight.”

A pair of Lyon baskets late in the first half helped put the Saints up 17-13 at the half. St. Dom’s then scored six straight to open the second half. Landry, Laura Anderson and Lyon all scored to open a 23-13 lead. Baskets by Gilbert and Lyon later in the quarter had the lead up to 12.

“Coach told us at halftime that we had to step up on offense and keep up the defense, and we did,” said O’Shea.

Waynflete got as close as 27-21 with a Hannah Kelley free throw early in the fourth quarter, but both teams went the first seven-plus minutes without a field goal. Waynflete shot 1-for-15 in the fourth and didn’t hit a field goal until 50 seconds remained. St. Dom’s shot 1-for-6 and didn’t score from the floor until Gilbert scored in the final seconds. The Saints did manage to hit nine straight free throws and 10 out of 12. Gilbert had four of those while Noelle Duncanson and Landry each had three.

“That’s unusual for us,” said Lenfestey. “We’ve had trouble at the foul line.”

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