The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


March 3, 2014

St. Thomas More too big, too strong, too fast


McCoy and Co. didn’t waste time, jumping to a 5-0 lead before Prophetstown junior Heather Strike struck with a layup off a feed from Corrie Reiley. But that lead quickly went to 19-5, and the first quarter ended with the Sabers up 26-8.

The alarming statistic from the first eight minutes was that the Sabers scored 24 points in the paint. That, no doubt was a concern for Prophetstown. You have to go through 6-4, 6-1, 6-0, 5-11 and 5-9 on St. Thomas More’s roster before you find anyone the height of Prophetstown’s tallest players (Kramer and Makayla Bolton, each 5-8). What was not Prophetstown-esque was that many of the points in the paint came off turnovers, with 5-5 all-state point guard, and Southern Indiana University signee, Randa Harshbarger lighting up the box score with three first-quarter steals to go with six quick points.

No matter the score, no matter the hype, the Prophets didn’t hesitate to take the court for the second quarter against a team that features not one, not two, but three first-team all-staters from a group of only 15 girls statewide. And for good measure, St. Thomas More can throw in a third-team all-stater and an all-state honorable mention selection.

Whether or not the Lady Prophets knew of those accolades, they never stopped competing.

When senior Karli Stafford drained a 3-pointer from the corner at the 4:03 mark of the second stanza, assisted by Corrie Reilly, all of a sudden the scoreboard showed a more mortal score of 31-14. Not quite a nail-biter but a score that surely gave hope to the Prophetstown faithful.

Sadly for the Prophets, those hopes faded. A 15-2 run by the Sabers unbalanced the scoreboard going into intermission with a 46-16 lead. By the end of the third quarter it was 63-24, not a good sign since the Lady Prophets hadn’t given up 63 points in a game all season.

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