DOLGEVILLE - Coming off a tough loss last Saturday to Frankfort Schuyler in which it led by nine at the half and lost by eight, the Dolgeville girls basketball team was ready to move on.
Returning to their home court to face St. Johnsville on Monday night in a non-league contest was just what the Lady Blue Devils needed.
Despite struggling to find the hoop on the first couple of possessions, Dolgeville got back on track and cruised to a 48-34 victory.
Dolgeville’s Lyndsey Stoehrer (22) drives against St. Johnsville’s Sam Cleveland (12) during Monday’s non-league at Dolgeville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
"It was very frustrating," Dolgeville coach Shane Morrill said of his team's game-opening possessions. "We had a tough loss on Saturday and I think we had a little bit of a hangover from that at the start of the game until we got back in the flow. They are going to miss shots but they were able to play through it."
On their opening possession the Lady Blue Devils (5-2) had little trouble getting to the hoop but came away empty after the initial shot and four put backs.
Once they got on track, the Lady Blue Devils began finding success against the shorthanded Lady Saints.
Dolgeville built a 12-5 edge over St. Johnsville by the end of the opening period and put the Lady Saints, who played with six players, in early foul trouble.
The Lady Blue Devils stayed steady in their play, utilizing the depth of their bench to employ a fast-breaking style against the St. Johnsville press to take a 23-12 lead into the locker room at the break.
The fast break also put St. Johnsville in foul trouble as Jessi Hagadorn carried three fouls, and Morgan Bradt, Rachael Graepel and Rylie Smith all carried two fouls into the second half.
"It [foul trouble] didn't affect our defense at all," St. Johnsville coach Stephanie Cleveland said. "I told them we were going to full-court press them and we are going to do what we can. For six girls to full court press from the middle of the second quarter until the middle of the fourth quarter is something. We have lot of heart we are just young and have to figure some things out. Out of the six I have a senior, junior, three sophomores and a freshman."
Dolgeville opened the second half with an 11-0 run to stretch its advantage to 34-12 before Sam Cleveland finished off a pass from Sam Mumford to break the scoring drought. Hagadorn added a long jumper to account for St. Johnsville's third-period scoring as Dolgeville's Tereza Van Olst, Lyndsey Stoehrer and Jackie Bange accounted for the Lady Blue Devils' 14 third-quarter points to carry a 37-16 lead into the final eight minutes of play.
The Lady Saints held the Dolgeville players to three field goals in the final period, two by Amanda Carpenter and one from Bange, but the fouls took their toll.
With just over four minutes remaining Cleveland fouled out of the game and was followed to the bench by Hagadorn leaving the Lady Saints with four players on the floor to finish the final 1:37 of the game.
St. Johnsville put 18 points in the book in the final period to close the final score to 48-34.
"The last game we had two girls foul out when we were down by six and came back to lose by two," Coach Cleveland said. "They show a lot of heart. If these girls will stick together and keep working through everything, I believe we will get the W. It's coming . . . we will get there."
Smith finished the game with 15 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Sam Cleveland contributed nine points, while Hagadorn and Bradt had four apiece and Rachael Graepel added two.
Bange came off the bench to lead Dolgeville's scorers with 10, while Jackie Fake added eight.
"We can go eight or nine deep and that is obviously deeper than they were tonight," Morrill said. "I have seven kids who average five points or more. I was able to give a lot of players playing time tonight."
Dolgeville will return to action Wednesday night with a Center State Conference game against Herkimer. St. Johnsville will take to the road Wednesday for a Western Athletic Conference game against Saratoga Catholic.
Dolgeville 48, St. Johnsville 34
St. Johnsville5 7 4 18 - 34
Dolgeville12 11 14 11 - 48
Cleveland 3-3-9, Smith 5-3-15, Hagadorn 2-0-4, Graepel 1-0-2, Bradt 2-0-4. Totals 13-6-34.
Reardon 1-1-3. Fake 2-4-8, Bange 4-2-10, Barton 1-0-3, Chavez 2-4-8, Van Olst 3-1-7, Carpenter 2-0-4, Stoehrer 2-1-5. Totals 17-13-48.
3-point goals: St. Johnsville 2 (Smith 2); Dolgeville 1 (Barton).