AUBURN – As quickly as the deficit dwindled early in the third quarter, the St. Dom’s girls’ basketball team watched it balloon again by the end.

Just as the Saints thought they had gotten themselves back into Monday’s game, St. Dom’s watched Waynflete pull away for good in a 46-35 win.

“We were looking forward to this game ever since last year,” said Flyer Margaret Veroneau, who led all scorers with 14 points. “We were down 21-0 at halftime or something like that (in a 60-30 loss). We were so excited to come back here. We have the same team as last year. We just wanted this so bad, and I think we played really well.”

The Saints erased a 28-18 halftime lead with nine straight points to start the second half. The Flyers answered with a 13-0 run and held the Saints without a field goal for over seven minutes.

“We made a good run,” said St. Dom’s coach Chet Lenfestey, whose team beat the Flyers two out of three times last year and play at Waynflete twice later this season. “When it came right down to it, and we needed a critical play, we just couldn’t seem to make the play. We missed the foul shot. We missed the layup. We just couldn’t get over the top.

“It’s really no surprise. We expected Waynflete to be one of the better teams in our conference this year.”

The Saints (1-1) were led by Mary Lewis with 11 points while Abby Gilbert had seven. In addition to Veroneau’s 14, the Flyers (2-0) also got eight from Alex Woodhouse and Jenna Sood.

The Saints came out in the second half with an aggressive defense and quickly turned the game around. Lewis scored off a steal, and Gilbert drew a foul and hit both free throws. After another Lewis steal and basket, Laura Andersen made an end-to-end drive to make it 28-26. Katie Lyon hit a free throw to get the Saints within one with 4:33 left in the quarter.

In the first four minutes of the third, Waynflete shot 0-for-7 and turned the ball over eight times.

“We got really excited at halftime that we were up by 10,” said Veroneau. “I think that just got to us. Maybe we thought we had it in the bag.”

Though the Saints got within reach of the lead, St. Dom’s couldn’t seize momentum completely. An Ania Khadraoui jumper with 3:04 left in the quarter ended the drought, and Morgan Woodhouse snuck behind the defense for a basket to get the lead back up to six.

The Flyers were able to find the open player against the Saints aggressive defense while the St. Dom’s offense struggled the rest of the way. The Saints had 10 turnovers of their own in the third quarter and shot just 3-for-12.

“The kids have to learn that when things aren’t going well offensively, you’ve got to push yourself a little harder on defense,” said Lenfestey. “Instead of when things aren’t going well offensively, you relax on defense.”

An Alex Woodhouse basket on a press breaker made it 37-27 to end the quarter, and the Flyers got baskets by Sood and Mariam Qazi to open the fourth and build a 41-27 lead.

“We just focused really hard on defense,” said Veroneau. “We’ve been working on that a lot, getting up on our man. We watched (Gilbert) and (Lewis) a lot. They’re very good shooters.”


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