RIDGWAY – Backed by a 23-point performance from senior Kayla Hoohuli, the visiting Lady Dutch (21-1) nearly doubled Ridgway's (1-21) output Friday night in a 70-37 victory over the Lady Elkers.
"I thought we ran the court pretty well and played man-to-man defense very well," said St. Marys head girls' varsity basketball coach Bob Swanson after capping off a 21-1 season. "We tried a couple zones but Ridgway shot the ball well [Friday night] and I think they're a much-improved ball club.
"We didn't play at an intensity level that I much cared for, but our girls are playing hard, we just have to get ready for the playoffs."
The Lady Dutch started off with a 6-0 lead before Ridgway senior Brianna Stenta got the Lady Elkers on the board midway through to cut the deficit to four points.
On the other end, St. Marys junior Jenna Anderson banked home a 3-pointer with 3:40 on the clock; after the Lady Elkers converted three of four tries from the charity stripe, Hoohuli knocked home her first of four treys on the night to take a 12-5 advantage.
Inbounding the ball with two seconds to go, Hoohuli hit a 30-ft. buzzer beater well beyond half-court for a 17-7 lead after one quarter of play.
"Kayla [Hoohuli] sees the court exceptionally well and Adair [Gennocro] has also turned into a real nice ball player for us," Swanson said. "DeAnna Yost does very well for us and continues to improve but we have some injuries, but Kiana [Hoohuli] was playing about half the time in the game and we're just trying to get patched up for the playoffs."
With their first 10-point lead of the night, the Lady Dutch outscored Ridgway 20-9 in the second quarter to take total control of the game.
Ridgway freshman Jenni Thomas hit a 3-pointer of her own to kick-start the action in the second quarter, but Hoohuli hit a 2-point field goal and later converted a 3-point play to go up by 12; Gennocro hit a shot with 6:21 to play for the 14-point lead and Yost later scored back-to-back 2-point field goals before another Gennocro bucket for the 30-12 lead.
Gennocro later added a 3-pointer with 51 seconds on the clock to go up 33-16; Hoohuli added a layup 20 seconds later and St. Marys senior Rachel Walker hit a shot with two seconds to play in the first half for the 37-16 halftime lead.
The Lady Elkers played a much better third quarter and was only outscored 16-13 backed by 10 points from Nicole Breier, who found herself wide open a handful of times under the hoop.
However, Hoohuli went on a 6-0 run at one point and added an NBA-length 3-pointer with 1:02 on the clock in the third quarter to up the lead to 53-29.
The Lady Elkers were routinely plagued by a poor transition defense throughout the night that resulted in long passes and several layups on the other end.
"We talked about covering long passes and getting back in time, and that's something we're going to have to work on in the offseason, getting people back on defense and we definitely struggled with that," said Ridgway head girls' varsity basketball coach Glenn Schauer. "We're going to have to learn from that.
"But I was happy with our effort and for as young a team as we are, I'm pleased with this."
Yost added four more points in the fourth quarter and Gennocro added four as well to cap off a 16-point performance. Breier hit her last 2-point field goal of the night to walk away with a 16-point showing to pace Ridgway. Departing Ridgway senior Bryton Dybowski and Stenta ended their high school basketball careers with 10 and six points, respectively.
"Against a 21-1 team, I thought we played well," Schauer said. "It seemed like every single time we'd get a good shot St. Marys would be able to answer right back.
"For our seniors Brianna Stenta and Bryton Dybowski played well and they've contributed to this team. We knew we'd have a rough year with being a young team, but we look forward to the future."
St. Marys will now rest until their March 5 game for the District 9 Class AAA crown versus Bradford, with a site and time to be determined.
St. Marys 70
Kayla Hoohuli 9 1-1 23, Adair Gennocro 6 2-2 16, Rachel Walker 4 0-2 8, DeAnna Yost 4 0-0 8, Abbey Cribbs 3 0-0 6, Jenna Anderson 1 0-0 3, Sloan Foster 1 1-2 3, Kiana Hoohuli 1 0-0 2, Becky Krieg 0 1-2 1. Totals: 29 5-9 70.
Nicole Breier 8 0-2 16, Bryton Dybowski 4 1-2 10, Brianna Stenta 2 2-2 6, Jenni Thomas 1 0-0 3, Christine Schauer 1 0-1 2, Taylor Roseto 0 0-2 0. Totals: 14 3-9 37.
3-point field goals: St. Marys 7 (Ka. Hoohuli 4, Gennocro 2, Anderson). Ridgway 2 (Dybowski, Thomas).
Score by quarters
St. Marys 17 20 16 17 70
Ridgway 7 9 13 8 37