Frontier loses lead, falls to St. John Central 45-41
NEW MATAMORAS — Frontier High was unable to protect the lead.
The Cougars had an 11-point advantage early in the third quarter, but St. John Central rallied and overcame that deficit in the final period to win, 45-41, in non-conference girls’ basketball action Thursday night at Hank Morus Gymnasium.
“I’m real disappointed,” said FHS head coach Mike Cisler. “We came out flat, and showed no energy. And, we just didn’t shoot the ball well. We didn’t play very well at all tonight.”
Logan Haught and Haley Bills paced the Frontier (2-6) with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Haylee Hanes added seven markers, all in the second quarter. The Cougars missed 12 foul shots (8-20).
St. John (1-8) posted its first victory of the season. The Bubba Kapral-coached Irish were led by senior Kaylin Nixon, who tallied a game-high 21 points, 13 in the fourth quarter.
Jayden Lowe was one rebound shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine caroms. Julie Schlanz and Shay Horvath chipped in with seven and six markers.
Frontier led 7-5 after one, and owned a 21-12 advantage in the second before St. John was able to reduce the deficit to 25-20 at the intermission. Hanes and Haught each scored seven points to lead the charge in the second eight minutes of play.
The Cougars suffered a setback in the second quarter when 6-foot-2 junior forward Brooklyn Gardner was ejected for “throwing an elbow” at an Irish cager.
“That hurt us,” Cisler said. “But sometimes that happens with the way the calls are.”
The Irish also hurt itself with 12 turnovers in the opening half.
In the third period, the Cougars scored six unanswered points on buckets by Isabella Rinard, Haught, and LaRae Henthorn to make it 31-20. Slowly but surely, though, St. John came back and trailed 34-29 going into the fourth quarter.
Nixon had the hot hand down the stretch and after her basket gave the Irish a 37-35 advantage, the visitors from Bellaire never looked back.
At the 1:56 mark, Nixon drained a 3 to give St. John a 40-36 lead. But Bills, who tallied a career-high 33 points against Caldwell Monday night, scored two straight buckets in nine seconds to knot the score at 40-all.
With under a minute to play, Nixon was 4 for 4 from the charity stripe, and the Irish were able to halt an eight-game slide.
“Our young kids, they’re so eager to come down and shoot the basketball sometimes, and we were on a 3-point shooting spree there instead of trying to set up and get a good shot,” said Cisler summing up the game. “We needed to be more patient on the offensive end.”
Frontier is scheduled to host Calhoun County of West Virginia at 6:30 p.m. tonight.
at Hank Morus Gymnasium
St. John Central 45, Frontier 41
SJC 5 15 7 18 — 45
FHS 7 18 9 7 — 41
ST. JOHN CENTRAL (1-8)
Jayden Lowe 2 7-10 11, Danielle Yagel 0 0-0 0, Kaylin Nixon 5 10-15 21, Sadie Watts 0 0-0 0, Shay Horvath 3 0-0 6, Kaley Bryan 0 0-0 0, Julie Schlanz 3 1-2 7. TOTALS: 13 18-27 45. 3pt goals: Nixon 1.
Haley Bills 4 3-8 11, Isabella Rinard 2 0-0 4, LaRae Henthorn 1 1-2 3, Logan Haught 4 2-6 12, Brooklyn Gardner 2 0-0 4, Abigail Eddy 0 0-0 0, Haylee Hanes 2 2-4 7. TOTALS: 15 8-20 41. 3 pt goals: Haught 2, Hanes 1.
Next varsity game: Calhoun County at Frontier, 6:30 p.m. today