St. Pat’s sent both the girls and boys basketball teams to state last season. This year, while both teams look different, both opened with wins over Broken Bow on Friday at the McGahan Activities Center.
The Lady Irish easily handled the Lady Indians, winning 74-20. The boys team opened a close game in the second half and defeated the Indians 51-35.
The St. Pat’s girls return a plethora of girls this year, but things are much different.
“We lost Candace Shelton, who handled the ball a lot for us,” said assistant coach Brad Braithwait. “This year we added Brook Boucher and she does things differently.”
Boucher, along with post player Shelby Allberry, scored 20 points to pace the Lady Irish, who opened the game with a 14-0 run and led 25-5 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Boucher was fouled from behind and took a pretty hard spill. The senior got up and made the Lady Indians pay, scoring 13 of the Lady Irish’s next 15 points, including three 3-pointers.
“We try to instill that toughness in all the girls,” Braithwait said. “She got up and hit some big shots.”
St. Pat’s extended their lead to 48-9 at halftime and 60-13 after three quarters.
“We’re behind a little bit in installing the offense,” Braithwait said. “That’s what happens when your volleyball team reaches the state tournament.
“We have to get in better shape, but we’ve got most of what we want to do installed.”
Anna O’Malley, who along with senior Mandy O’Malley and Sam Byrn will handle the ball more, added 10 points for the Lady Irish.
Braithwait was pleased with Allberry’s night.
“All our seniors are leaders and Shelby is a very good player who had a great summer,” the coach said. “We’re expecting good leadership and good things for her this season.”
Meanwhile, St. Pat’s will hope to expand on the changes for this season as the year progresses.
“Everyone’s role has changed,” Braithwait said. “We just have to continue with hard work and get to where we want to go.”
Ashley Kirkpatrick led the Lady Indians (0-2) with nine points and Karly Boje chipped in with four points.
For the Irish boys team, things are much different. The Irish lost several seniors from last season, but have continued to evolve during practice.
“We’ve got a good interior game,” said Irish head coach Bill O’Malley. “We did a good job getting the ball inside and we were getting good shots.”
St. Pat’s led 9-2 after the first quarter, but saw the Indians climb back into the game and trail just 19-15 at halftime. Broken Bow cut the lead to two twice, one time each in the second and third quarters, but never could knot the game up.
“They were able to get the ball inside and executed well,” said Broken Bow head coach Ryan Wetovick. “Rebounding was a big issue. We pride ourselves on rebounding and they out-rebounded us.
“We’ll make sure that won’t happen again.”
The Irish used a 9-0 run in the third quarter to extend their lead to 30-19 and led by as many as 19 in the fourth quarter.
Joseph Clinch scored 20 points to lead the Irish. Mark Mayfield added eight points and Sean Keenan and Alex Harms each scored seven.
Marcus Miller led Broken Bow (1-1) with nine points. Tanner Johnson scored eight points and Hunter Campbell added seven for the Indians.
St. Pat’s plays at Sutherland today, while Broken Bow is at Ravenna today.