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St. Joe girls win in a laugher

Jan. 17, 2013 @ 12:29 AM

HUNTINGTON -- It was a good day if you were wearing a white jersey with "Irish" on the front. If you were wearing a green jersey sporting the same moniker, not so much.

The Class A top-ranked Huntington St. Joe Irish girls basketball team (11-1) forced 32 turnovers on its way to an all-out shock-and-awe bombardment of rival Charleston Catholic, winning 75-16 Wednesday night.

The Charleston Catholic Irish (4-8) didn't hit a shot from the floor until midway through the third quarter. Up to that point, the team had compiled four points from foul shots.

"Obviously (Charleston Catholic) is a bit down," said St. Joe coach Shannon Lewis. "They lost some key players with ACL injuries, and we're kind of at the top of our game right now. We just had too much athleticism for them."

Lewis said St. Joe didn't shoot the ball well at times, but was generating so many turnovers and getting so many transition baskets, it didn't matter.

One of those turnovers occurred with 21 seconds left in the first half, and marked the only time the raucous home crowd went silent, when starter Asia Petitte got tripped up and landed hard on her elbow trying to get into transition.

Petitte was helped off the court, but returned with the rest of the starting five for the third quarter.

"It was swelling up at the end of the game, so we hope she's OK," Lewis said.

And about that starting five, Lewis pulled them with just under three minutes to go in the third quarter.

When asked if that was too long to leave them in, the coach said he was trying to get them minutes to keep their conditioning up because St. Joe doesn't play another game for about 10 days. And when a game is tight, Lewis doesn't venture deep into his bench.

"I wasn't trying to run up the score," he said. "We don't play again until next Friday, and they need to get their minutes on the floor."

St. Joe was led by Griffin Dempsey, who had 24 points, followed by Mychal Johnson, who had 15.

Charleston Catholic was led by Madison Helmick, who hit two 3-pointers in the second half to score 6.

The crowd didn't get any louder than when Kelci Parker, a freshman, hit a layup at the final buzzer for St. Joe on an inbounds play.

"Every crowd has their favorite and tonight is was her," Lewis said. "She's a good kid and she works hard and it was great to see her get a bucket."

CHARLESTON CATHOLIC 1 2 3 10 -- 16: Helmick 6, Palmer 4, Fletcher 4, Whelan 2.

HUNTINGTON ST. JOE 30 18 22 5 -- 75: Dempsey 24, Mychal Johnson 15, Mychelle Johnson 9, Lee 9, Petitte 9, Anderson 3, Gale 2, Jenkins 2, Parker 2.