Varsity basketball takes on St. Charles Bulldogs


Reese Holton

Starr Hansen (left) and Skylar Rodriguez (right) play defense against the Bulldogs.

Keegan Honig, Editor

St. Louis Varsity girls’ basketball competed at home against St. Charles Jan. 8. Starters for the Sharks were Joslynn Clark, Zoe Dickman, Allison Taipalus, Aynslee Koutz, and Olivia Anderson. The Sharks started the game strong with scoring from Koutz, Taipalus, Clark, and sophomore Skylar Rodriguez to lead 9-3 before a Bulldog timeout was called with 2:14 left in the first quarter. The timeout helped St. Charles go on a 6-0 run throughout the rest of the quarter to tie up the score heading into the second.

In the second, St. Charles scored three more points before Koutz pumped up the Sharks by scoring off a steal. Taipalus then scored five points and Koutz added two to keep the score 18-19 going into halftime.

The second half started slowly for the Sharks due to the tough full-court press of the Bulldogs, but the Sharks managed to keep the game close throughout the third quarter. Brooklyn Filipiak scored three points and Taipalus scored six in a row before Rodriguez scored to tie the game at 29-29 and cause a St. Charles timeout. The Sharks came out of the timeout with momentum and took a small 33-31 lead by the end of the third quarter.

The score had remained extremely close all game long, but the Sharks had an amazing fourth quarter to extend their lead. Scoring from Starr Hansen, Rodriguez, Dickman, and Filipiak fueled the Sharks’ run before Rodriguez got an offensive rebound and put it back in with a foul to score 3 more points to energize her team. Filipiak, Anderson, and Taipalus each scored points in the closing minutes to secure the win 54-44 against the Bulldogs.

It was a very competitive game that remained close in score throughout before the Sharks pulled away when it mattered the most: the fourth quarter. The key player for the Sharks was senior Allison Taipalus. She had a double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds and had four assists, three blocks, and three steals. Additionally, Anderson and Koutz each snatched five steals to completely dominate on the defensive end.

Joslynn Clark shared, “I feel like everyone came out ready to play. The game was a fast-pace game, and we really wanted to win. Our coaches gave us some really good encouragement before the game and at halftime. As a team, we were able to pull off a conference win we really needed.”

Scoring leaders for the Sharks were Allison Taipalus with an impressive 20 points, Skylar Rodriguez with 11, Brooklyn Filipiak with seven, and Aynslee Koutz with six. The Sharks now have a winning 4-3 overall record, and a 2-2 record in the conference. They will play Pinconning at home Friday, Jan. 11.

The Varsity boys’ basketball team faced St. Charles right after the girls’ game. Starters for the Sharks were Cade Pestrue, Blake Fisher, Liam Morrow, Cameron Mizer, and Trae Garcia. The Sharks started the game with an intense full-court press that caused a 10-second violation on the Bulldogs early in the game. However, St. Charles picked it up to score around the press. With 4:31 left in the first quarter, the Sharks called a timeout trailing 2-8. The Sharks only scored four more points (all by Pestrue) throughout the rest of the first quarter, and they trailed St. Charles 6-15 heading into the second.

St. Louis picked it up with valuable scoring from Patrick Hanley, Ethan Wilson, and Noah Prestage to catch back up. Garcia was on fire from the three-point line as he made three in the quarter alone, one of which helped the Sharks finally take the lead right before halftime. The score was all tied up 30-30 heading to the locker rooms.

The third quarter was a battle. Both teams scored twelve points to keep the score tied 42-42 by the end of the quarter. Scoring came from Morrow, Fisher, Hanley, and Garcia.

The fourth quarter came, and both teams were eager to take the lead. Pestrue pumped up his team by making two tough layups in transition to start the quarter, and Morrow hit a free throw to keep the score tied 47-47 before a St. Charles timeout. Unfortunately, everything fell apart for St. Louis after the timeout. St. Charles hit two three-pointers in a row, and then they hit two free throws. They took an eight-point lead that caused the Sharks to call a timeout, which didn’t stop the Bulldogs’ run.

After Morrow’s free throw early in the quarter, St. Louis didn’t score the rest of the game. St. Charles went on a monumental 16-0 run to win the game 63-47. It was a close game and a battle all the way, but the Bulldogs won it in the fourth.

Pestrue stated, “We need to be more of a fourth quarter team since they had a 16-0 run on us.”

Scoring leaders for the Sharks were Garcia with 17 points (13 in the second quarter), Hanley with nine, Pestrue with eight, and Fisher with six. The Sharks will be back in action against Pinconning at home Jan. 11.