St. Mary’s has come a long way the last month.
Nearly a month to the day after losing by 24 points – and being held under 30 — against Legacy, the Saints flipped the script on Saturday at the Bismarck Event Center.
Abby Kopp scored 19 points and the Saints started the second half on a 10-0 run to earn a 63-49 win over the fifth-ranked Sabers. Back on Dec. 18, it was Legacy that rolled to a 54-29 victory.
“That wasn’t a very fun game for us last time against (Legacy). They took it to us, but we wanted revenge today,” Kopp said. “Our defensive intensity was much better today and offensively we were pushing the ball and looking to be aggressive.
“Legacy is a very good team. This is a really good win for us.”
It’s been a very good week for the Saints, who beat Jamestown 61-54 on Tuesday, in their push toward a top-4 spot in the West Region.
“This was an important week for us. To be able to beat Jamestown and follow that up today against Legacy is a really big confidence booster for us,” Kopp said. “At the beginning of the season, it took a little time for us to find our identity, but we feel like we’re improving, and the results are showing on the court.”
Up 25-22 at halftime, Kopp scored six points and St. Mary’s twin towers of Hallie Schweitzer and Maria Mann dropped in buckets as the Saints took command with a 10-0 run. Kopp has been a reliable scorer for the Saints, but she prefers feeding her productive posts.
“I don’t look to score much. We have two good 6-footers,” the Saints’ point guard said. “This was a great team win for us. Everybody was doing a lot of good things offensively and I thought our defense was the key overall.”
The Saints have won four straight to vault into the No. 4 spot in the West.
“It was a fun game to watch. I’m really proud of the girls,” St. Mary’s coach Shannon Copas said. “We’re coming together as a team. We’re playing with more confidence and playing well together. The girls work hard.”
Taryn Allmaras topped the Sabers, who have another big test on Tuesday at No. 3 Mandan, with 12 points. Ashley Hulm added 11.
Mann also was in double figures for the Saints with 14 points. Schweitzer totaled eight points and five blocks. St. Mary’s looks for win No. 5 in a row on Friday in Williston.
“There’s still things we need to work on and get better at, but we love where we’re at right now,” Copas said.
CENTURY 72, BISMARCK 44
Century had it going from long distance in the opener on Saturday at the Bismarck Event Center.
The No. 1-ranked and unbeaten Patriots sank 12 3-pointers in their 72-44 win over Bismarck High.
Lauren Ware led Century with 17 points, seven rebounds and seven blocked shots.
Lilly Keplin, Chloe Markovic and Jenna Fitterer each finished with 14 points as Century outscored BHS 40-19 in the second half. Keplin canned four triples. Markovic and Fitterer added three each for the Patriots, who host Dickinson Tuesday.
Megan Henderson’s 11 points led the Demons, who host Minot on Tuesday.