In a battle for neighborhood bragging rights, the St. Benedict Bengals girls varsity basketball team (5-3) defeated the Gordon Tech Rams (0-7) at St. Benedict’s Gym on Monday night, 49 - 41.
After the Bengals took a first quarter lead, the Rams jumped into a full court press midway through the second quarter and charged back. On the strength of junior guard Jenny Carroll’s three second quarter three-pointers, the Rams took a 23 to 22 halftime advantage.
“We were in a zone defense in the first half and got a little frazzled early. We came out of it and went man-to-man,” said St. Benedict head coach Chris Ford. It worked.
The Bengals’ defense lead the way in the third quarter. Despite giving up two three-pointers to Rams forward Katelynn Reed, the Bengals dominated the defensive boards and outscored Gordon 15 to 9. Bengals sophomore guard Alexis “Lexi” Genge matched up on Ram guard Carroll and slowed Carroll just enough for the rest of the Bengals defense to turn the tide. Genge lead the way for the Bengals with 17 points including layups after defensive steals. Genge added late free throws to seal the victory late.
Adding to the Rams woes, sophomore center Melanie Claudio fouled out late with four minutes left. Rams leading scorer Jenny Carroll had 18 points including three first half three point shots.
“They did the little things better than we did tonight. The extra box out, the extra rebound, the extra hustle made the difference. We have do that better,” said Gordon Tech head coach Tom Kane.
“It was great to beat a neighborhood rival. I was especially proud to see the girls play this well without [injured senior center] Amanda [Genge],” Bengals Coach Ford added. Amanda Genge suffered a knee injury earlier in the year against Hope Academy and may miss the rest of the season. Adding to the rivalry, the Gordon Tech Rams include two St. Benedict Elementary School graduates, senior guard Samantha Pucci and senior forward Katelynn Reed.