Fontbonne 54 St. Joseph 41
It’s not uncommon in sports that when one teammate goes down, another steps up to shine at that position. That was the case for the first place Bonnies (6-0) when they took on the third place St. Joseph Cougars (7-1) without their high-scoring and top rebounding center Jill Howard, who was out with the flu.
With Howard out, fellow junior teammate Winter Charles stepped into Howard’s shoes and proceeded to have a career game, recording a “double-double” (20 points and 12 rebounds) to lead Fontbonne to the win to retain first place.
Assessing his opponent, Fontbonne Coach Steve Oliver stated, “They’re very athletic, very aggressive on offensive and can apply pressure.”
In the first half, Coach Oliver saw his own assessment play out on the court against his team as the Cougars pressed the Bonnies to miss numerous shots, resulting in a slim 23-20 Fontbonne lead – an unfamiliar close halftime margin for the Bonnies who are used to establishing at least 10-15 point mid-game leads in league play thus far this season.
However after some halftime adjustments, the Bonnies opened the third quarter to go on a 19-12 run led by Winter Charles, who scored 16 points in the second half as a part of her game-high 20 points. Along with Charles, Breanne McDonnell (16 points) helped to close the third quarter for a hard-fought 42-32 Fontbonne lead.
“Although she only she only had four points, as a good point guard she still dished out 12 assists tonight that proved so valuable for us since she was guarded so closely,” stated Coach Oliver on Katie Marquardt’s performance. “She was very effective tonight on her dribble-drive penetration either to find a passing lane to Winter under the basket or to kick it out to the perimeter for Breanne.”
On Charles’s game-high performance, Coach Oliver stated, “I’ve been waiting all season for Winter to have a game like this, especially where she boxes out to establish herself under the basket to score on those rebounds.”
This recent win gives Fontbonne a 7-0 first place record, ahead of second place 6-0 McClancy and third place 7-2 St. Joseph.