Hurons struggle against undefeated St. Ignace at home

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Rogers City’s Alexis Budnick (14) is swarmed by St. Ignace defenders as she tries to go to the basket during the fourth quarter of a girls basketball game on Friday at Rogers City High School.

ROGERS CITY — Duane Pitts and the Rogers City girls basketball team knew they were going to have their hands full with a talented and undefeated St. Ignace team on Friday.

The Hurons proved to be no match for the Saints, who proved why they are one of the top teams in the state as Rogers City was on the receiving end of a 63-18 loss at home.

“We said we wanted to get some things out of this game and compete against a really good team. I thought we played a really good first quarter. We really competed against them and from there we kind of ran out of gas a little bit,” Pitts said. “St. Ignace really puts the heat on you and as they kept doing it, we kept running out of gas and we just gave up too many baskets in transition and that’s what they want to do and give them credit. We’ll take some of the things we did against a really good team and apply that against some of the other teams that we’ll play and hopefully the girls will gain some confidence from playing against a quality team like this.”

The Hurons scored the first two points of the game on a basket from Taylor Fleming, but it was all downhill for Rogers City after that.

St. Ignace applied pressure with a stingy full court press and forced the Hurons to turn the ball over several times throughout the course of the contest as Rogers City seemed to panic at times with the basketball and the Saints stayed cool, calm and collected. This was especially true for senior Emily Coveyou, who poured in a game high 26 points and was on fire early, scoring 17 points in the first half.

Coveyou scored eight of the Saints’ first 10 points and St. Ignace scored 14 unanswered points after Fleming’s first basket. The Saints held a 14-5 lead after one quarter as Fleming nailed a three pointer to beat the first quarter buzzer.

St. Ignace continued to extend the lead and Coveyou continued scoring with ease as she added nine more points in the second quarter to help the Saints take a 35-8 lead into the break.

“I was happy with the first quarter and the effort overall, but I think we still have to hustle a little more and get back and suck it up and do a good job. It was just one of those hard games against a team that is really talented and we knew that coming in. We’ll just move on and get ready for our next game,” Pitts said. “Hopefully we learned just what it takes to be a top level team. Obviously they have a great program and it takes a while to build something like that. The girls just need to realize that some of the things that we did do well tonight, if we’re able to do that against a team like St. Ignace, we can do it against anybody.”

The Saints came out of the break and continued to blow the game wide open as they scored the first 11 points of the third quarter to take a 46-8 lead. They continued pouring it on and a running clock was put into effect midway through the third quarter.

Fleming led the Hurons with seven points and Alexis Budnick added six points.

“At times I thought we were patient when we broke their press, but other times we were way to fast and we can’t lower our heads and dribble through double teams, you have to reverse it to the other side and we had the reversal there, but we just didn’t see it and that’s something we need to work on in practice and that’s on me as coach. I have to make sure the kids are doing what they need to be doing in order to be successful,” Pitts said. “We struggled, but obviously I give St. Ignace a lot of credit because they are all over you and have constant pressure. They caused a lot of problems and they do a lot of things well and we’re not quite at that level, but we’re working hard to get there.”

The Hurons are 5-2 overall on the season and will be back in action on Tuesday when they host Hillman in their annual Purple Game.

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BOX SCORE: Field goals made/Free-throws made/Free-throws attempted/Total points

ST. IGNACE (63): T. Shepard, 3 0-0 6; E. Hart, 1 0-0 2; E. Coveyou, 10 3-5 26; H. Marshall, 2 0-0 5; A. Hart, 2 0-0 4; M. Olson, 3 0-0 8; A. Schultz, 3 0-0 7; E. Felleppa, 2 1-5 5.

ROGERS CITY (18): T. Fleming, 3 0-0 7; L. Hentkowski, 0 1-4 1; G. Garrison, 1 0-0 2; K. Altman, 1 0-0 2; A. Budnick, 3 0-1 6.