Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

January 8, 2014

Lady Saints fall to Moravia

Steve Woodhouse

Melcher-Dallas — An extended Christmas break may have affected the Melcher-Dallas Lady Saints, who struggled to find their groove against Moravia Tuesday night, Jan. 7. 

Few shots were taken after a nice layup by Senior Maddie Roland on the opening possession to put the Saints up 2-0 early. Defense was tight on both sides throughout the first, but the Saints were able to gain some momentum after three quick three-pointers from Senior MacKenzie Suntken and Junior Jenny Petersen. Petersen hit two in the waning moments of the first. 

With the momentum and a 15-11 lead going in to the second, the Saints outside shooting went cold. Each team finished the half with 10 fouls and 24 points each. 

The physical matchup continued to remain close in the third quarter, but the Mohawks were able to end the quarter with a 35-31 lead. Turnovers and an inability to get open cost the Saints many of the few opportunities they were given. The Saints' defense also had difficulty containing Moravia Sophomore Autumn McDanel, who finished the game with 20 points. 

Down 40-33 with less than five minutes left in the game, Saints Head Coach Jon Suntken preached balance and confidence to his team. The Saints worked together to put seven more on the board for a final of 50-40. 

"We're better than that," Suntken said after the game. He believes he may have given his team too much time off around the holidays and said he did not think he had done enough to prepare them to win. 

"This is a game we should have won," Suntken said. He planned to move on to the next practice and go on with the rest of the season from there. The Saints are at 5-6 and will travel to take on intra-county rival Twin Cedars on Tuesday, Jan. 14. 

As for this game, Sophomore Jessi Anderson and Roland each contributed nine points for the Saints. Petersen finished with eight and MacKenzie Suntken finished with seven. Also scoring were Sophomore Kaylee Houston and Sophomore Megan Roush. Anderson also led the team in rebounds with 12.