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Lady Comets Keep WSJ At Bay For 54-36 Victory

By Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / January 21, 1998

EDGARD – St. Charles Catholic held off a third quarter rally by West St.John to defeat the Lady Rams, 54-36, Friday evening.

The Lady Comets improved to 11-12 overall and 2-0 in District 9-2A playheading into Tuesday night’s contest against district favorite Ridgewood.

West St. John fell to 9-5 overall and 0-2 in district. The Lady Ramstravelled to Ecole Classique Tuesday night.

Melanie Punch paced the Lady Comets with a game-high 24 points. KristenOberschmidt added eight points, while Nicole Scontrino contributed sevenpoints.

The Lady Rams were led by Kenyatta Boudoin’s 11 points. Crystal Stipetossed in an additional nine points, with Donyell Stipe and IreonBethancourt chipping in with six points apiece.

The Lady Comets jumped out to their biggest lead of the game, 37-19, ontwo free throws by Punch with 3:24 left in the third quarter. West St. Johnthen began to slice into the lead, outscoring the Lady Comets 8-3 to closeout the period.

Bethancourt started the run on the Lady Rams’ ensuing possession, bankingin a layup while being fouled. She missed the free throw but grabbed therebound and tossed in a jumper to cut the lead to 14. Two possessionslater, Hillary Howard grabbed a missed free throw by Crystal Stipe andtossed it back in to bring the Lady Rams back to within 37-25.

Following a free throw by Punch and a timeout by West St. John, Boudoinput back a shot. Oberschmidt closed out the quarter by hitting a jumperfrom the left side to give the Lady Comets a 40-27 lead heading into thefinal eight minutes.

West St. John quickly cut the deficit to single figures at the start of thequarter on a 3-pointer by Donyell Stipe and a free throw by Crystal Stipe.

But two possessions later, Scontrino grabbed momentum away from theLady Rams by grabbing a steal, and following a held ball to the LadyComets, burying a jumper from the left side.

Scontrino then grabbed a miss by the Lady Rams and tossed it downcourtto Punch, who found Oberschmidt ahead of the pack for a layup. Punchfollowed with a put back of a missed free throw by Oberschmidt to buildthe Lady Comet lead back to 46-31.

A jump shot by Punch and a free throw by Scontrino gave the Lady Cometstheir biggest lead of the game at 50-19. Donyell Stipe ended the 10-0 runby St. Charles Catholic by rattling in a 3-pointer, but the Lady Cometsanswered as Punch grabbed a pas from Scontrino underneath for a layup.

St. Charles Catholic never trailed in the contest, jumping out to a 13-8lead at the end of the first quarter behind Punch’s six points andOberschmidt’s five. After the Lady Rams had pulled within 7-6 on two freethrows by Boudoin, Punch scored six unanswered points on two layups andtwo free throws.

West St. John closed to within 16-14 with four minutes left in the firsthalf on baskets by Crystal Stipe and Boudoin and two free throws by Stipe.

But the Lady Comets countered with a 10-2 run to take a 26-16 lead intothe lockerroom.

Punch and Shannon Dolive put back rebounds to spark the run. Dolive thenhit two free throws and Punch took a pass from Felicia Farlough foranother basket to increase the Lady Comets’ lead to 25-14.

The Lady Comets continued to build on their lead as the second halfopened. Scontrino grabbed a steal and took it the distance for a layup.

Following a West St. John turnover, Punch nailed a 3-pointer from theright corner to give the Lady Comets a 13-point lead. Steals byOberschmidt and Punch led to layups by Dolive and Scontrino, giving theLady Comets a 35-18 lead midway through the third quarter.

“We really played as a team,” St. Charles Catholic coach Jeff Montz said.”When they made a run, we kept our composure. We didn’t let them makethat one run to get them back into the game. That is important on theroad.”

Both teams were plagued by foul trouble with 27 fouls called in the firsthalf alone.

“We got into foul trouble early and it took us out of our game,” West St.John coach Lester Smith said. “But the kids played hard and never gaveup.”

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