by Tom Utescher
In Wednesday action for the Springside/CHA summer league basketball team, players got a break from the hot weather that blanketed the area earlier in the week, and the scoreboard took a breather, as well, since the Lions and rival Little Flower High School only posted 37 points between them.
Springside was up by half-a-dozen at halftime, but saw its lead slip to three points in the middle of the second stanza. The Lions held off the Sentinels down the stretch to prevail, 21-16.
The daughter of new Springside coach Steve Purcell is a rising senior on the Little Flower team, but she was not at Wedensday’s game, and Springside was missing three seniors and some strong returning juniors. The Sentinels had several chances to make the first mark on the scoreboard, but the missed four straight free throws in the opening minutes of the affair.
The Lions responded by missing two of their own at the other end of the court, but Springside still managed to score first, netting a short jumper from the left side with 12:30 to go in the first half. The basket was made by guard Caroline Henry, a new student who’ll enter the ninth grade at the local school this September.
Little Flower tied the score, then Springside sprinted out to an 8-2 lead as sophomore Julia Schumacher drove for a lay-up and later scored off of a rebound, while freshman Olivia Byron put back the rebound of her own shot. Little Flower countered with a lay-up and free throw, but then was limited to one point in the remainder of the half. Junior Meredith Spann sank a jumper from the lane and Schumacher drove for a lay-up in the closing seconds of the half, allowing the Lions a 12-6 advantage at the break.
A three-pointer banked in from the top of the key started things off for the Sentinels in the second half, and they hung close to the Lions the rest of the way.
Sophomore Madi Sehn, a Norwood Fontbonne Academy product, scored a fast break lay-up off of a pass from Byron and Henry hit a jumper from just inside the three-point loop, but Little Flower countered with back-to-back baskets to trail by just three points in the middle of the half, 16-13. Schumacher scored in transition and Byron hit two free throws to make it 20-13 with 4:11 left to play.
The Sentinels answered with a three-pointer, but didn’t score again, and in the last minute a free throw by Sehn stuck the final score on the board. Schumacher led Springside with eight points on the night. The Lions could’ve won more comfortably with better foul shooting; they made only three of their 13 free throw attempts.